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    Home ›› Food for healthy teeth and gums

    Home ›› Food for healthy teeth and gums

    Food for healthy teeth and gums

    8 min. read


    Are you aware that the food and drink you choose to consume play a major role in your ability to keep your teeth and gums healthy?


    Life can get pretty busy. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, and even easier to make questionable decisions about the food you eat when you're stressed or overly focused. This can negatively impact the health of your teeth and gums.


    You already know that the food choices you make affect your overall health. Everyone does. But understanding the ways in which those foods affect your oral health is lesser known, and a crucial part of really taking good care of your mouth.

    Foods that help strengthen your teeth and gums

    Foods that help strengthen your teeth and gums


    Obviously, your teeth go wherever you go, but it's not difficult to take them for granted. Working them out and keeping them strong is just as important as it is for the rest of your body. Here are some foods you can eat (and enjoy) that will ensure your teeth stay fit: 


    • Foods high in Vitamin C. Strawberries, carrots and other foods with high concentrations of Vitamin C not only boost your immune system, but keep your teeth and gums healthy.


    • Cheese and yogurt. The bacteria in cheeses and yogurt are great for your teeth. They reduce the acids in your mouth and help to remove the bad bacteria. It's believed that these cultures promote good blood flow in your gums and can even strengthen tooth enamel.


    • Leafy greens. Kale, spinach, and chard are full of A and B vitamins that are believed to promote blood flow to your teeth, helping to strengthen enamel and prevent cavities.


    • Milk and lean proteins. Dairy and lean meats (like chicken and fish) are loaded with calcium and phosphorous. Both of these are necessary for protecting and maintaining strong bones...including your teeth.

    Foods you should try to avoid

    Foods you should try to avoid


    When thinking about the relationship between your diet and the health of your mouth, there's a pretty simple rule to consider: if it's bad for your waist line, it's probably bad for your gum line. Here are a few foods that might taste great, but definitely don't do your teeth and gums any favors:


    • Sugary foods. Your body may crave candy, cake and donuts, but the high sugar content in them is also exactly what the plaque and bacteria in your mouth need to grow and prosper. By cutting down on these types of foods, you will help to starve and kill off those pesky cavity-causing intruders.


    • Starchy foods. Potato chips and French fries may nourish the soul during a stressful day, but they also fuel the flames of plaque and gingivitis. 


    • Acidic foods. Orange juice, coffee, and red wine taste delicious but are full of enamel-softening, teeth-staining acids that can actually weaken your teeth. By enjoying them in moderation, you significantly lower the risk of experiencing sensitivity and pain.


    • Ice. You probably weren't expecting this one, but chewing on ice is a great way to damage the enamel on your teeth. The icy crunch is enough to wear down even the strongest chompers.


    *Note: To set the record straight, it's important to note that you are not expected to cut some of your favorite foods out of your diet, completely. Depriving you would be unreasonable (and unrealistic).


    The message, here, is that the foods listed come with risks to the health of your teeth and gums. However, by drinking lots of water and brushing and flossing after giving in to your cravings, you will be doing your mouth a great service, in protecting your teeth and gums.

    Foods you should try to avoid

    Food that help to eliminate plaque


    Sure, maintaining a daily brushing and flossing routine is key to your overall oral health, but so is your diet. As discussed, consuming less sugary and starchy foods will limit the growth of new plaque-causing bacteria, but there are foods and common products that can aid in the removal of existing plaque.


    • Crunchy fruits and veggies. Eating raw apples, carrots, celery, and other crunchy fruits and vegetables can help chip away at the plaque that builds up on your front teeth and molars as you chew. 


    • Cheese, yogurt, and other cultured bacteria. The bacteria in cheese and yogurt, believe it or not, may help to neutralize the plaque building acid in your mouth. *Note: For those that are vegan or lactose intolerant, tofu has been shown to have similar properties. 


    • Water. This one may seem too boring or obvious, but nothing helps wash away acids and plaque-causing bacteria like a nice cold glass of water. Swish as often as you like.


    By consistently eating these types of foods, you’ll get the added bonus of boosting your immune system. Once you start to see the benefits, you’ll quickly become one of those annoying people who actually enjoy good oral care.

    Foods that help repel bad breath

    Foods that help repel bad breath


    What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you catch a whiff of your own bad breath


    It’s easy to feel self-conscious, but you’re not the only one. In fact, the cosmetic breath industry brings in an average of $2 billion dollars, annually, for minty, temporary relief. However, if gum and breathmints aren’t going to satisfy your worries, there are more lasting solutions. Here are a few foods that can help stop bad breath at the source:


    • Ginger. Chewing on raw ginger not only helps to freshen and clean your mouth, the enzymes in it can also help to cut down on the bacteria and acids in your gut that cause lasting bad breath. 


    • Parsley and cilantro. These are classic remedies for bad breath in cooking. Just chew on a sprig or two and your bad breath will be replaced with a pleasant herby smell in no time. 

    Brushing and flossing for best results

    Food can't do it alone: Brushing and flossing for best results


    There are multiple schools of thought around the best times to brush. Traditionally, Dentists have instructed patients to adopt the morning-and-evening model. More recently, though, some Dentists have begun to recommend that you brush 45 minutes after each meal to ensure that you’re actively removing the sugars and acids that stick to your teeth when eating (and cause plaque build-up).


    Note: Eating certain foods has the potential to weaken tooth enamel. Be sure to wait at least 45 minutes after eating, before brushing, to give your teeth enough time to re-harden.  


    Whichever option you choose, it’s important to brush twice a day for at least two minutes per session, and floss (or use an interdental cleaner) at least once per day. This combination of daily oral care is sure to minimize plaque and discoloration. Using a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush is a great way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your brushing time.

    Explore our full range of electric toothbrushes

    Electric toothbrushes for healthier teeth

    Explore our full range of electric toothbrushes ›

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