Pin Me

Top 10 Foods for Healthy Teeth and Gums

written by: Nicky LaMarco • edited by: Rhonda Callow • updated: 6/24/2009

Everyone loves a beautiful smile. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is necessary to produce those pearly whites that everyone wants. Even if you already floss and brush, there are some steps you can take to protect your mouth. Here are the best foods for healthy teeth and gums.

  • slide 1 of 11

    10. Celery

    One of the best foods for your teeth is celery. Because celery requires a lot of chewing, your mouth produces extra saliva. Saliva destroys one type of bacteria that causes plaque. Foods such as celery massage gums and clean spaces between teeth.

  • slide 2 of 11

    9. Cheese

    Cheese benefits your teeth in a number of ways. It is low in carbohydrates, which plaque thrives on. Cheese also helps manage the pH of your mouth. Too much acid can severely damage your teeth's enamel by increasing the growth of bacteria that causes cavities.

  • slide 3 of 11

    8. Kiwis and Oranges

    Kiwis contain very large amounts of vitamin C, which protects the collagen in your gums. A lack of vitamin C can lead to periodontal disease in your gums. Oranges are also very high in vitamin C. Try to eat the fruit instead of drinking orange juice though; the juice contains more sugar, which is not good for your teeth.

  • slide 4 of 11

    7. Onions

    Although onions are not the best thing for your breath, they are good for your mouth. The antibacterial compounds in onions kill one of the types of bacteria that causes plaque. Unfortunately, these plaque-fighting compounds are strongest when raw, so keep breath mints or a toothbrush on hand.

  • slide 5 of 11

    6: Shitake Mushrooms

    Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, which helps prevent plaque from forming. This compound is found only in these mushrooms, which have been used for medicinal purposes in Asia for centuries. In addition to protecting teeth, lentinan is used in anti-cancer drugs. Shiitake mushrooms are good sliced on salads or in soups.

  • slide 6 of 11

    5. Green Tea

    Green tea contains a substance called catechin that destroys plaque-causing bacteria and help clear up bad breath. You can replace a couple glasses of soda or coffee a day with green tea. Green tea can be served hot or cold. There are also instant packages of green tea available for when you are on the run.

  • slide 7 of 11

    4. Parsley and Mint

    Parsley and mint both help freshen your breath and are completely natural. You can add chopped parsley to salads or put mint on top of a dessert.

  • slide 8 of 11

    3. Seeds

    Seeds can clean the plaque off teeth and build tooth enamel. One of the better choices of seeds are sesame seeds because they are high in calcium, which the bones in your mouth need. You can put seeds in yogurt, on vegetables, or in salads.

  • slide 9 of 11

    2. Wasabi

    Wasabi, the green paste that comes with your sushi, prevents cavity-causing bacteria. Wasabi is not only used as a condiment for sushi. You can incorporate this ingredient into many recipes as a flavoring.

  • slide 10 of 11

    1. Water

    Water also benefits your teeth and gums. Not only does water help cleanse your mouth of food particles left behind, but it also hydrates gums and stimulates the production of saliva. Doctors recommend a minimum of six 8-ounce cups of water per day. Try bringing a water bottle with you to remind yourself to stay hydrated.

  • slide 11 of 11

    These are some of the best foods for your mouth, but there are plenty of other foods that are good for you. Try to limit your starches and sugars and eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables.