The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) has compiled several studies in a new free e-book Recipes for a Healthier Smile that shows certain foods are actually chockfull of beautifying benefits for our teeth and gums.
For example, did you know that basil can reduce bacteria (think: bad breath) in your mouth? Or that cheese can prevent tooth decay?
“A lot of people separate the mouth from the rest of the body,” explains Shawn Frawley, general dentist in Beverly Hills and co-author of AACD’s e-book, “but the mouth is really connected to [your health]."
That means the same types of foods that can help stave off cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease can also help prevent common oral health problems, like tooth decay, gum disease and cavities.
“What’s basically good for the body as a whole is good for your mouth, too,” says Dr. Frawley. “That means, plant-based foods, like vegetables, whole grains, legumes and beans, which are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.”