Everyone knows that the key to staying healthy is exercise and eating right, but did you know there are some natural foods that can help keep your mouth from the perils of gum disease? Strawberries, Kiwis some citrus fruits Just like sailors have known for centuries, vitamin C can help prevent disease. And as far as your mouth is concerned, it can help protect delicate gum tissue. You see, vitamin C helps to prevent collagen from breaking down. Without collagen, gums can become tender and susceptible to periodontal disease. Kiwis and strawberries have the highest concentration of vitamin C, but citrus fruits contain a good amount as well. Apples, Celery, and other Low-Acid, Fibrous Foods These foods have two key benefits for your mouth that help prevent gum disease. They actually act as “dental detergents” because they stimulate saliva production due to their water content, which helps flush the mouth clean. Second, the fiber in these foods have a scrubbing effect and cleanse the surface of your teeth as you eat, brushing the bacteria away. The process of chewing these foods can dislodge newly formed dental plaque too, preventing it from ever forming in the first place. Green Tea Green tea contains complex compounds called “catechins” that can fight inflammation and actually control bacterial infections. Those who drink green tea regularly tend have less occurrence of periodontal disease, as compared to infrequent tea drinkers, which can lead to a lower chance of tooth loss later in life. Nuts and Seeds We all know calcium is good for our bones. Well, nuts and seeds are not only a great source of plant-based protein, but also micronutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and you guessed it, calcium. Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth, and dietary calcium may actually contribute to tooth remineralization. The nuts highest in calcium are almonds and brazil nuts. Unhulled sesame seeds are incredibly high in calcium. Onions and Shiitake Mushrooms Onions, when eaten raw, can fight bacteria with their antimicrobial sulfur-containing compounds. And shiitake mushrooms contain a natural sugar that may help to prevent gingivitis called lentinan. This sugar and other antibacterial compounds target microbes that can lead to gingivitis while leaving other non-harmful bacteria unaffected. Of course, the best way to make sure your mouth remains healthy and free of gum disease is to brush, floss and see your dental professional for an evaluation should you experience and redness, swelling or bleeding from your gums. The experts at The Wagner Centre specialize in helping patients with gum disease and tooth loss.