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  • London-based nutritionist Rick Hay says food has a huge impact on oral health
  • He advises you consume lots of orange and yellow foods to keep gums healthy
  • While oily fish and supplements will also help to make sure the same happens
  • But those wanting a perfect smile should steer clear of coffee, meat and sugar 

Maintaining a healthy smile takes a lot more than just brushing twice a day.

What you eat has a big impact on your oral health; it makes sense, considering it comes into direct contact with your teeth.

If you want to keep your pearly whites clean and strong, consider adding some new items to your diet—or taking some things out.

Here, in a piece for Healthista, London-based nutritionist Rick Hay recommends his top foods for your best smile ever.

Bright yellow and orange foods are rich in beta-carotene - which keeps mucous membranes healthy, allowing the gums to stay in good condition, according to nutritionist Rick Hay

 Bright yellow and orange foods are rich in beta-carotene – which keeps mucous membranes healthy, allowing the gums to stay in good condition, according to nutritionist Rick Hay

YELLOW AND ORANGE FOODS 

Bright yellow and orange foods are rich in beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A.

They’re going to help with your mucous membranes.

Healthy mucous membranes make for healthy gums, and you’ve gotta have healthy gums to have healthy teeth.

OILY FISH 

Oily fish contains healthy omega acids which help skin, hair, nails and teeth, Mr Hay says

Oily fish contains healthy omega acids which help skin, hair, nails and teeth, Mr Hay says

Think also about oily fish.

I mention these an awful lot because they’ve got some really good healthy omegas in there that help your skin, hair and nails, and also healthier teeth.

SUPPLEMENTS

Supplements containing calcium and vitamin A help to keep mucous membrane healthy

When you think about supplements for your teeth, I bet you automatically think about calcium.

Calcium is great to get nice, strong, healthy teeth, and nuts and seeds will help you to keep your calcium levels up, but what you really wanna do is look beyond that.

Let’s talk about probiotics for gut health: healthy gut, healthy mouth, healthy gums, so probiotics are important, (such as) Acidophilus and Bifidus.

We also wanna talk about things like Coenzyme Q10—it’s also great for the mucous membranes.

The other things to think about are vitamin A and beta-carotene. They’re both terrific for mucous membrane health.

If your gums are bleeding, go for an immune system stimulator like olive leaf extract, even Manuka honey. They’re really going to help with that.

Think about having some raw food in your diet, things that haven’t been overly processed, that aren’t high in sugar, because they go hand-in-hand with the supplements.

 BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FOODS YOU SHOULD AVOID?

SUGAR 

Sugar is widely known to be bad for the skin - but it also has an effect on oral health

Sugar is widely known to be bad for the skin – but it also has an effect on oral health

This has got to be the easiest question for a nutritionist to answer: what foods to avoid for healthy teeth?

Of course, the culprit is sugar. You really don’t want too much in your diet. It’s not great for your teeth.

It’s also not great for your skin; it promotes glycation and ageing. It might taste good, but the ramifications on overall health aren’t good.

COFFEE AND TEA

Avoid coffee and tea because they will stain your teeth and disrupt gut health, Mr Hay says

You want to avoid too many cups of coffee and tea because they’re going to stain your teeth, and also they’re not great for the other systems in the body as well.

We want to keep gut health healthy because it’s all linked.

This is all one body, and you don’t just have teeth that are healthy if you’ve got an unhealthy gut.

MEAT 

Meat doesn’t do your digestive tract any good, therefore it has an impact on your teeth as well

Meat doesn’t do your digestive tract any good, therefore it has an impact on your teeth as well

Cut down on too much meat.

It doesn’t do your digestive tract any good, and therefore it’s got an impact on your teeth as well.