Regular brushing and flossing keep your teeth healthy by ridding your mouth of sugar and food debris that, together with bacteria, form plaque. As a result of plaque, tooth enamel is damaged, caries and various periodontal diseases appear. In this article, we’ll take a look at natural foods that research has shown to help maintain oral health. The “catechin” compounds found in green tea fight inflammation and also control bacterial infections. A Japanese study found that people who regularly drink green tea are less prone to periodontal disease compared to those who drink green tea infrequently. Vitamin C is very important for the health of delicate gum tissue as it helps prevent collagen breakdown. Without collagen, the gums are susceptible to loosening and become more susceptible to disease. Kiwi and strawberries have a high concentration of vitamin C, as well as astringent properties that help with discoloration caused by drinking coffee and alcohol. An excellent source of plant-based protein, they contain trace elements necessary for teeth, such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and, most importantly, calcium. Calcium promotes tooth remineralization, the richest in this element are almonds and Brazil nuts. Sesame seeds also boast a high calcium content. Especially when raw, onions kick off a powerful germ-fighting process thanks to their antibacterial sulfur compounds. If you’re not used to it or your stomach can’t digest raw onions, try eating boiled onions. Shiitake contains lentinan, a natural sugar that helps prevent the development of gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums characterized by redness, swelling, and sometimes bleeding. Recent studies show that antibacterial compounds such as lentinan are very precise in targeting the biofilm of pathogenic oral microbes while leaving beneficial bacteria intact.