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I am 18 years old and I have yellow teeth. I brush regularly but the yellowness is still there. Please help.
The 30 best foods for healthy teeth and gums
The surprise path to perfect teeth
Teeth are important! no wonder most of us take a really good care of them. Brushing, flossing, scraping our tongue, using mouthwash, we do a lot. Our mouth might very well be the part of our body we take the most care of and yet tooth decay and gum disease are still some of the most prevalent diseases in the world. How come? the answer might hide in the fridge!
Surprising or not, the difference between a healthy smile and frequent visits to the dentist might be your diet. Even if you have a perfect oral hygiene routine, it might be hard to keep your teeth healthy, if you don’t watch what you eat.
Too often, we see food as being only the villain when it comes to oral health. After all, it’s sugars and acids from food and drinks that do most of the damage to our teeth. However, there are many types of food that not only don’t harm your teeth as much but can even give a big boost to your oral health.
From preventing cavities and periodontal disease to even freshening your breath and whitening your teeth, the foods on this list can match the claims of the fanciest toothpaste and mouthwashes on the market. Most of them are actually pretty tasty as well, so take out your shopping list and get ready to add some teeth-friendly goodies.
How some foods help your teeth and gums stay healthy
Your teeth and gums are a part of your body, and as every other part, need good nutrition to function properly. Specific nutrients are most beneficial for different parts of your body, so let’s see which are the most crucial elements for healthy teeth and gums. (you can read which are the worst nutrients for your teeth and gums here)
Foods rich in calcium and phosphorous
Tooth enamel is, well, minerals. Different acidic foods and drinks may cause erosion of the enamel, so to make your teeth strong again you need to put some minerals back and try to restore what is lost. The main heroes here are calcium and phosphorous. These elements are the building blocks of enamel and consuming foods rich in them is a necessity if you want to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
* best sources (calcium) – yogurt, cheese (hard, aged), seafood, milk (low-fat), tofu, almonds
* best sources (phosphorous) – pumpkin seeds, fish, brazil nuts, red meat, eggs, tofu, broth
Firm, crunchy foods high in water
Hard, crunchy foods that contain lots of water are great for your teeth more than one way. First, chewing produces more saliva, which is the best natural neutralizer of the bacteria that causes cavities. Second, the texture of these foods also makes them naturally abrasive, so they gently scrub and clean teeth surfaces, removing plaque and food particles. It has to be raw fruits and vegetable though, so this is not an excuse to munch on chips and crackers.
* best options: celery, apples, cucumbers, carrots
Foods rich in vitamin d
Vitamin d is crucial for your overall health, but it’s really important if you want healthy teeth as well. The main reason is it helps your body to absorb calcium better.
* best sources: sunlight (you can’t eat sunlight, but it still is the best natural source of vitamin d), fish, egg yolks, cod liver oil
Foods rich in vitamin c
Vitamin c is powerful! it can strengthen blood vessels and reduce inflammation, which may help your gums stay healthier. Vitamin c is also required for the production of collagen, a key protein that helps you fight periodontal disease. Without vitamin c, your gums become sensitive and more susceptible to the bacteria causing periodontal disease.
* best sources: bell peppers, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, kale
Foods rich in antioxidants
When it comes to their health benefits, antioxidants have almost celebrity status. How do they help your mouth stay healthy? antioxidants fight the bacteria that cause inflammation and periodontal disease. They help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection.
* best sources: apples, berries, grapes, raisins, nuts, beans
Foods containing probiotics
When it comes to bacteria in your body, there are tons of both good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are some of the best ones. More research is needed here, but there is already some evidence that probiotics may help decrease plaque and promote healthy gums.
* best sources: yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, and other fermented foods
Foods rich in anthocyanins, arginine and polyphenols
There are many other elements that might be beneficial for oral health. More research is needed, but some of the most promising candidates are anthocyanins (which may prevent the attachment of plaque on the teeth and fight oral cancer), arginine (an important amino acid which may disrupt the formation of plaque and reduce chances of cavities) and polyphenols (which may slow the growth of bacteria leading to plaque, preventing gum disease, cavities and bad breath).
* best sources (anthocyanins) – berries, grapes, cherries, plums, eggplant
* best sources (arginine) – meat, soy, nuts
* best sources (polyphenols) – tea (black and green), berries, flaxseed, cocoa
30 of the best foods for healthy teeth and gums
So far we’ve gone over why your diet is important for your teeth and over some of the basic science behind the connection between oral health and what you eat. What is left is to give you the complete list of some of the best foods for your mouth. So, here it is! (or you can click here to see the 25 worst foods and drinks for your teeth and gums.)
Do you like cheddar? it’s rich in calcium. In addition, cheese lowers the acid level in your mouth, which plague hates it for. What’s more, chewing on hard cheeses increases saliva production, which washes off some of the bacteria in the mouth. Want to munch on some not-so-goo-for-your-teeth snacks like crackers – add some cheddar and you’ll mitigate the damage. Just remember, hard, aged cheeses are the best options.
Together with water, milk is the best drink when it comes to your teeth. It’s rich in calcium and other important elements. Milk also lowers the acid levels in the mouth, which helps fighting tooth decay.
Your teeth’s superhero! water helps wash away food particles and keeps your saliva levels high. Saliva is actually your mouth's best defense against tooth decay because it contains proteins and minerals that naturally fight plaque and if you stay hydrated, you have an unlimited supply of it.
4) leafy greens (spinach, broccoli, kale)
Super healthy, leafy greens are rich in calcium, folic acid and lots of important vitamins and minerals that your teeth and gums love.
5) fish (fatty fishes, wild salmon, tuna)
Rich in minerals and important vitamins like vitamin d, fish are a crucial part of any teeth-friendly diet.
Most meats are great for your oral health. They are packed with some of the most important nutrients mentioned above. Red meat and even organ meats are especially beneficial.
7) black and green tea
Think polyphenols! polyphenols have been known to reduce bacteria and toxic products of bacteria in the mouth. Tea also tends to be rich in fluoride, which is a well known necessity for healthy teeth. It’s best if you drink it unsweetened as sugar and even honey could ruin the party.
Nuts are full of health benefits for your teeth. They are packed with tons of important elements like calcium and phosphorus. Especially beneficial are almonds, brazil nuts and cashews, which help to fight bacteria that lead to tooth decay.
This one is a no-brainer. Chewing gum boosts saliva production, washing away bacteria and food particles.
10) cranberries (fresh)
Rich in polyphenols (just like tea), which keeps plaque at bay, thus lowering the risk of cavities. Fresh cranberries are especially effective at disrupting the process of plaque formation.
Most citrus fruits are really acidic, which is not good for your teeth, but oranges are least acidic of all, and have all the health benefits that you can expect from fruits.
If you want perfect teeth, you better love strawberries! they are packed with vitamin c, antioxidants and also malic acid, which could even naturally whiten your teeth.
Yogurt definitely ticks more than one good box for your oral health. It’s packed with calcium and probiotics that protect you against cavities, gum disease and even bad breath.
Carrots are so tasty and full of tons of the most important minerals and vitamins for your mouth that they deserve a special mention. No wonder bugs bunny has perfect teeth.
Will an apple a day keep the dentist away? probably not, but it will certainly help. It’s packed with key nutrients and vitamins.
The allicin that is contained in garlic has strong antimicrobial properties. So, it helps you fight tooth decay and especially periodontal disease.
Ginger is amazing in many ways. When it comes to oral health it might freshen your breath and inhibit bacteria growth.
18) whole grains
Consumption of whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice) lowers the risk of gum disease.
Unlike many acidic fruits, raw pears are good at neutralizing acids, which makes them a perfect snack at any time.
Kiwis have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin c.
When eaten raw, onions have powerful antibacterial properties especially against some of the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease.
22) shiitake mushrooms
These tasty asian goodies are plague’s nightmare. They contain lentinan, a natural sugar that disrupts the formation of plaque on your teeth.
Celery is so good for your teeth it’s worth a special mention. It’s in many ways the perfect snack for good oral health and is the closest we have to nature’s floss.
A diet that includes soy may help promote healthy gums.
Sushi just got better for your teeth! there is some evidence wasabi stops bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
26) sesame seeds
High in calcium and very efficient at scrubbing plaque off your teeth while you chew them.
27) sweet potatoes
A healthy dose of vitamin a will do lots of good things for your enamel and gums.
This is a surprise entry, as raisins even appear as the bad guys in some places when it comes to their effect on teeth. However, they are a source of phytochemicals like oleanolic, which may kill cavity-causing bacteria. They are also rich in antioxidants.
29) black coffee
An even more surprise entry! however, a series of recent studies have shown that black coffee could protect your teeth from tooth decay and actually help fight plaque. There of course is a small catch, the coffee needs to be black and unsweetened.
30) red wine
Wait a second! haven’t we been told hundreds of times to avoid red wine in order to protect our teeth? well, yes…and no! according to a study in the journal of agricultural and food chemistry, a glass of red wine can have a strong antimicrobial effect against cavities causing bacteria. Cheers to these brave scientists!
Hello sir Mujhe bahut jaldi mouth me chhale ya andar (Mouth sores) se laal ho jaata h jiski wajha se mujhe eating me problem hoti h kewal milk ya water peena padta h. Aisa kyu ho jata h? Koi upay bata dijiye?
Hi I'm 23 years old and m going for braces on my teeth and doctors hav asked for 3teeth extraction. Is extraction good or bad? Will it effect my eye sight? And in this age wil my teeth get align if yes wat would b d duration? Should I get braces done.
I am suffering from severe teeth sensitivity for last 2 months. I have consulted with a renowned dentists wit my issue, he suggested me to to RCT for those teeth (mainly last 3, teeth from left upper side. I just want to know is there any other option to get remedy for the same without doing RCT?
How do I overcome apthus ulcer non diabetic hypertension patient what are the reasons behind it in mouth.
How does what you eat affect breath?
Basically, all the food eaten begins to be broken down in your mouth. As foods are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, they are eventually carried to your lungs and given off in your breath. If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing -- even mouthwash -- merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.
Why do poor habits cause bad breath?
If you don't brush and floss teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This causes bad breath. Antibacterial mouth rinses also can help reduce bacteria. In addition, odor-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned.
Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products also can cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods, and irritate your gums.
What health problems are associated with bad breath?
Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins to form, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.
Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental caries (cavities).
The medical condition dry mouth (also called xerostomia) also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.
Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Here are some to be aware of: respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.
What can I do to prevent bad breath?
Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:
Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoridetoothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Brush teeth after you eat (keep a toothbrush at work or school to brush after lunch). Don't forget to brush the tongue, too. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
See your dentist regularly -- at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning and will be able to detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.
Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best.
Keep a log of the foods you eat. If you think they may be causing bad breath, bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some drugs may play a role in creating mouth odors.
Who treats bad breath?
In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odor source and treatment plan. If the odor is due to gum disease, for example, your dentist can either treat the disease or refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum conditions.
What products can I use to eliminate bad breath?
An antiseptic mouthwash can help eliminate bacteria that cause bad breath. Ask your dentist about which product is best for you.