New research says: Cavemen had better teeth than we do now. 

That’s according to a study in the journal Nature Genetics. Scientists analyzed ancient skeletons and found that our ancestors had healthier teeth and gums than we do. Their teeth probably weren’t pearly white – but they had more good bacteria in their mouths to fight the bad bacteria that cause tooth decay, gum disease and funky breath.  

So here’s how to get your mouth back in caveman condition. 

  • First, eat like one. Cavemen didn’t have processed food - like Doritos Locos Tacos and Slurpees. And researchers found that back in hunter / gatherer days, early humans had more diverse bacteria in their bodies. But those bacteria counts dropped once we began farming. And they dropped even more once we had processed sugar and flour. So eat more whole foods – like fresh produce, nuts, quality meat and whole grains. That’ll improve your good bacteria. 

  • The next step toward getting a caveman mouth: Try probiotics gum or mints. They improve oral health by crowding out bad bacteria with good. That’s according to Dr. John Comisi, a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. 

  • Finally, to improve oral health: Replace your coffee with green tea. Coffee is very acidic, which helps bad bacteria thrive. But green tea has antioxidants that kill the bacteria associated with tooth decay. And in studies, people who drink one or two cups a day are less likely to lose teeth.