Healthy gums are the foundation of a healthy, dazzling smile. And while brushing and flossing are key, new research shows that eating these five foods can also help keep your gums in the pink.
1. Salmon: This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation all over the body, including the gums. A study found that people who ate the most omega-3's slashed their risk of gingivitis by up to 20 percent.
2. Strawberries: They're bursting with vitamin C, which builds collagen, an important component of healthy gum tissue. In fact, people who consume less than 60mg of C each day (the amount in six large strawberries) are 150 percent more likely to develop gingivitis. But stay away from fizzy vitamin supplement drinks; they have been shown to erode tooth enamel.
3. Whole-grain bread: Whole grains contain iron and B vitamins-nutrients essential to gum health. One large study found that eating three servings daily reduced the risk of gum disease by 23 percent. Barley, oatmeal, and brown rice count, too.
4. Green tea: Hot or iced, this brew is brimming with antioxidants that kill the bacteria that lead to gingivitis. Bonus: The beverage also wipes out the germs that cause bad breath.
5. Pistachios: These nuts are rich in the antioxidant CoQ10, shown to fight gum inflammation.
Remember, brushing and flossing is key but a healthy diet also aids in maintaining a healthy, bright smile.