Top Foods and Recipes for a Healthy Mouth
Often times we think of food as the enemy when it comes to our oral health, especially food and drinks high in sugar and carbohydrates. These types of food promote demineralization, or the loss of minerals in our teeth, by feeding acid-producing bacteria resulting in tooth decay and oral infections if left unchecked. Thankfully, there are many different ingredients that work in our favor to promote tooth strength and gum health, plus they improve our overall health and encourage us to live a healthier lifestyle.
A balanced diet is always the best solution, but here are some key foods that keep your smile healthy:
Basil – A natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth
Carrots – High in Vitamin A that contributes to the formation of tooth enamel
Celery – Activates saliva production and massages the gums
Ginger – Anti-inflammatory properties
Kale – High in minerals that support tooth structure
Lemon – Natural teeth “whitener” and manages acidity throughout the body
Kiwi – High in Vitamin C which strengthens gum tissue
Hot and Sweet Fruit Salsa (6 – 8 servings) – full of Vitamin C, massages gums, stimulates saliva, and scrubs your teeth
6 kiwis, peeled and diced
1 qt strawberries, chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, shredded
1 Gala apple, shredded
6-8 drops stevia
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
3-6 drops hot sauce
½ cup green salsa
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Juice from 1 lime
In a large glass bowl, place the fruit, onion and cilantro, prepare as noted. In a small bowl, mix the stevia, cayenne, hot sauce, green salsa, and lime juice. Pour the sauce over the fruit and stir thoroughly and gently to blend spices with the fruit. Taste and add more green salsa, hot sauce, or stevia if desired. Chill or serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers, up to 2 days.
Serve with any tortilla chip.
Kaleberry Smile Booster Smoothie (1 serving) – High in nutrients and antioxidants that promote healthy teeth and gums
8 oz green tea
4 ice cubes
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ cup frozen strawberries
4 kale leaves
¼ cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp xylitol
Brew green tea and chill. In a blender, add ice, green tea, Greek yogurt, and kale. Blend until no large pieces of kale are visible. Add the other ingredients and blend until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Crunchy Chopped Salad (2 servings) – Take advantage of the benefits from celery, basil, and onions to activate saliva production, kill bacteria, and massage the gums
1 cup celery, chopped
¼ cup red pepper, chopped
1 tbsp onion, chopped
4 basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp honey
1 tsp raspberry vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of fresh ground pepper
Chop the vegetables and basil, if using fresh, and place in a medium bowl. If using dried basil, keep in a separate bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, olive oil, and 2 teaspoons of water; add dried basil if using this instead of fresh. Stir and pour over vegetables. Toss well to coat.