Practicing good oral hygiene including regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist helps keep your mouth healthy by eliminating the bacteria that leads to plaque formation. Recent research suggests that certain types of foods that are heart-healthy are also great for your oral health. Having another weapon in the battle against plaque, especially when it tastes good, helps you protect your beautiful smile.
Calcium and phosphorous-rich foods
According to the American Dental Association, food items that contain calcium, including almonds, leafy greens, and cheese, and items high in phosphorous such as eggs, fish, and meat may help tooth enamel remain strong and healthy. While acidic beverages and food can cause small holes in tooth enamel, consuming calcium and phosphate rich foods help redeposit minerals back into those holes. You already know calcium is good for your bones and that includes your jawbone.
Studies about the health benefits of tea are ongoing, but research indicates that the polyphenols in green and black tea can slow down the growth of bacteria that leads to cavities, decay, and gum disease. Tea prevents some bacteria from clumping together with other bacteria, which can lead to less plaque buildup on teeth. Black tea, especially, can help fight bad breath, as it suppresses bacteria that create unpleasant compounds in your mouth.
Although already mentioned for its calcium rich characteristic, cheese has even more benefits. Research in the General Dentistry Journal reveal that teenagers ages 12-15 years who consumed cheddar cheese had lower acid levels in their mouths than the same age group who drank a glass of milk or ate sugar-free yogurt. The teenagers rinsed their mouths with water after eating the cheese and other foods and when the acid levels in their mouth were measured, those who ate cheese had a large drop in acid, while the other showed no change in pH levels. Researchers believe that cheese may neutralize plaque acid and that chewing increases saliva, which washes some bacteria from the mouth.
Apples and carrots
Eating crunchy foods like apples, carrots, cucumbers and celery may help cleanse teeth as it disturbs dental plaque. This means that the bacteria in your mouth gets cleared away and doesn’t settle on your teeth.
With their natural sweetness, raisins don’t have table sugar or sucrose in them that can help bacteria stick to the surface of your teeth, which leads to plaque production. Raisins also contain phytochemicals and compounds that may eliminate bacteria that cause cavities and affect the growth of gum-disease-causing bacteria.
With polyphenols like those found in tea, cranberries help prevent plaque from clinging to teeth, which lowers the risk of developing cavities. The downside of cranberries is that their natural tartness means that many cranberry products contain added sugar that can undermine any potential benefits.
Although not as effective as cheese at lowering pH levels in the mouth, drinking milk after consuming sugar-sweetened foods like cake, can help neutralize some amount of the acid that plaque bacteria produces.
After eating, chewing sugarless gum increases saliva production, which helps clear away plaque-causing bacteria.
By eating foods that are good for your mouth and body, you’re improving your overall health, which gives you just one more reason to smile. Contact Dupont Dental to learn the best ways to protect, improve and maintain your oral health.