April 14, 2012

Foods for a healthy smile!

Nothing works as wonderfully as plain, sugar-free yogurt to clean out those germs between your teeth. The buildup of germs or bacteria between your teeth can cause bad breath, plaque and gum disease, and the good bacteria in yogurt helps battle the bad ones. A recent study revealed that eating yogurt four or more times a week will also keep off the cavities.

  • Green tea contains a substance called catechin that wipes out the bacteria that cause bad breath and create plaque.
  • Cheese is a great source of calcium and vitamin D, and also helps preserve and rebuild tooth enamel. It also balances the mouth’s pH to prevent growth of cavity-causing bacteria. So grab a piece of cheese after that meal!
  • Kiwis contain more vitamin C than any other fruit. A lack of vitamin C can break down the collagen network in your gums, making them tender and susceptible to periodontal disease. A slice of kiwi a day can add that extra zing to your smile.
  • Onions, especially eaten fresh and raw like in a salad, contain powerful antibacterial compounds that kill various types of bacteria. However, remember to pop in some mint after!
  • Lemon juice is great for whitening teeth, as is orange peel. Rubbing the inside of an orange peel with crushed bay leaves on to your teeth will whiten them to make for a glossy smile. Although be warned, too much lemon juice on your teeth can cause sensitivity.
  • Fibre-rich fruits and veggies like celery, apples and carrots massage the gums, and improve circulation. It also stimulates saliva which contains antimicrobials that fight bacteria in your mouth. Fruits like oranges and grapefruit are also great for the mouth as they contain vitamin C which keeps the gums healthy.
  • Parsley or mint leaves help keep your breath fresh and sweet. They contain monoterpenes that travel from bloodstream to lungs and are released with your breath. Always great to keep at hand!
  • Sesame seeds are a great cleaning agent that help work off plaque and build tooth enamel. They are also high in calcium and help preserve the bone around the gums.
  • The omega-3 fatty acids in fish help fight gum disease. Another reason to include fish in your diet.
  • Shitake mushrooms contain a sugar called lentinan that prevent mouth bacteria from creating plaque. Make sure to throw in 4-5 mushrooms in your soup or salad!
  • Strawberry is a natural tooth-whitener; try mashing up some strawberries and rubbing them on your teeth for a few weeks. Before long, you’ll have a set of enviable pearly whites!
  • Wasabi, known for its spicy zing, also protects your teeth. It contains isothiocyanates (the source of that spicy flavor) that inhibit the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Drinking water stimulates saliva and ensures that your gums are hydrated. It is the best defense against plaque and cavities. So if you miss out on brushing your teeth after a meal, make sure to drink a glass of water.

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