Yes, some foods and drinks can indeed boost dental health and no, they not include candy and coke. Apart from the regular toothpaste and mouthwash, there’s plenty more you can put into your mouth to prevent tooth decay, kill cavity-causing germs and fight away bad breath. So, here is a list of eight eatables that the dentist ordered.
Crunchy Fruits And Veggies
Anything low on sugar and high on fiber works as a natural scrub for your teeth, removing plaque and stimulating saliva flow. Saliva’s alkaline composition neutralized the acids that leech away calcium from the teeth, making them susceptible to damage, decay and caries. Moreover, all that chewing will also work out your jaws and give your gums a healthy massage. Result: stronger teeth!
Among its many health benefits are green tea’s tooth-protecting abilities. The polyphenols in green tea arrest bacterial growth while the antioxidants fight plaque and prevent halitosis (bad breath). Adding sugar, however, will neutralize its oral benefits.
The thought of acid being good for the teeth may come as shocking news for some but the truth is that the high concentration of Vitamin C in citrus fruits can actually kill acid-spewing bacteria in your mouth. What’s more, it can also fix weak and bleeding gums. So don’t think twice before munching on an orange.
Meat and Dairy
Meat contains crucial minerals such as phosphorus that help strengthen teeth and minimize decay. The calcium and Vitamin D in dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt and milk fortify teeth and strengthen the enamel, making it less prone to chipping and breakage. In fact, the casein in cheese can actually protect the tooth’s surface and reduce the risk of cavities.
You don’t need expensive treatments to get sparkling white teeth – strawberries can do that for you. Strawberries contain a compound called malic acid that zaps away plaque and polishes the teeth, making them look pearly and squeaky clean.
There aren’t many advocates for artificial sweeteners but sugar-free gum can indeed work wonders for the teeth. The constant chewing action stimulates saliva production, which is the body’s first line of defense against cavity-causing bacteria. Since the gum is completely devoid of sugar, it does not encourage bacterial growth like regular gum does.
When it comes to maintaining oral health, one cannot miss out on water. Drinking enough water throughout the day flushes out any food particles that may be stuck between the teeth and neutralizes the acids released by bacteria. Moreover, the fluoride (present in tap water) prevents tooth erosion and reverses any signs of decay.
Dark chocolate contains a compound called CBH that is known to strengthen the enamel and guard against cavities. Research suggests that certain compounds in cocoa beans may even have antimicrobial effects. As much as dark chocolate is good for the teeth, it is important to note that the milky, sugary variety will have an exact opposite effect, fostering bacterial growth and contributing to tooth decay.
About the Author: Martha Jackson is a dentist in Canning Vale, Perth. She has credible experience under her belt as a dentist and has been part of several awareness campaigns. Besides her day job, she also indulges in many hobbies during weekends.