Eating right is one of the first steps to good health. Here are some things you can eat to improve your oral health:

Eat salmon, or other fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Alternative: Supplement with fish oil. These oils have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Green tea, hot or iced, is known to have a bactericidal effect in the mouth.

Eat celery– it is rich in fiber, which can help produce saliva. The chewing of many fiber-rich foods can also scrub away plaque.

The polyphenols in black tea can help stop dental plaque from sticking to your teeth.

Foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, oranges, and some melons, can help prevent gum disease. Vitamin C is essential in collagen formation – severe deficiency in it can lead to a condition called scurvy. Gum tissue is loaded with collagen.

Eat your oatmeal. One research study found that by eating three servings of whole grain foods subjects reduced their risk of gingivitis by 23 percent.

Here are some foods you may want to cut back on to improve your breath:

High protein foods. Bacteria break down proteins into many foul-smelling compounds, so watch out if you are eating a diet high in protein.

Coffee. The residual smell from coffee can be off-putting to many, and the acidity of many cups of ‘wake up juice’ can lead to bacterial growth in the mouth.

Sugar. Of course, eating too much sugar can lead to obesity and dental decay, but did you know it can also lead to an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth? Those bacteria can put off an odor that will likewise put off many of the people around you.

Dairy products. Dairy products can produce volatile sulfur compounds–think rotten eggs)–and that will definitely sully your breath.

And of course, we would be remiss if we did not add that removing the bacteria from the mouth regularly by brushing, flossing, and using other oral care devices recommended by Dr. Okamura or James can mean a healthier, fresher-smelling mouth.

Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.