Nutritious Foods Make Mouths Happy
As it turns out, the foods that add size to your waistline are also not so good for your teeth (just one more reason to give up sugar.) According to dental experts, starchy, sugary food and beverages contribute to the buildup of plaque in the mouth. These foods actually “feed” the bacteria that cause plaque. Excess plaque produces toxins that destroy the gums and bones that support the teeth. And, if you continually assault your mouth with sweet treats, you will also break down the hard enamel on the surface of the teeth, leading to tooth decay.
Experts say that while certain foods can destroy the teeth, there are actually foods that can optimize oral hygiene and downplay the effects of bacteria and acid in the mouth. According to clinical studies, these seven foods will keep your pearly whites healthy:
- Water. Your body is 60% water, so it’s no wonder that the clear stuff is also good for your teeth. Most public water sources in the U.S.—67%, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research—have ideal levels of fluoride to inhibit tooth decay. Fluoride has long been known to be good for the teeth, “remineralizing” the enamel layer and reversing acid damage that causes tooth decay.
- Celery. Celery is one of those lesser-known “superfoods.” It has very few calories; in fact, it actually has a negative calorie balance and it’s known to lower blood pressure. But what’s also great about celery is that as you chew it, it breaks down into fibrous strands that cleanse your teeth. Gnawing on raw vegetables, in general, also helps cleanse the teeth due to high amount of saliva produced.
- Cheese. Behold the power of cheese. The Dairy Farmers of America aren’t the only ones touting the benefits of this tasty dairy product. Expert dentists also recommend cheese for strengthening the tooth’s surface. Cheese is rich in casein and low in sugar and acid, making it a better choice than milk for dental health.
- Sugar-Free Gum. While artificial sweeteners have become a controversial topic among health experts, there is one sweetener that ought to be given a mild exception: xylitol. Xylitol is a key fighter of plaque, inhibiting the metabolism of sugar by harmful bacteria that erode the tooth enamel. Sugar, on the other hand, feeds the harmful bacteria. And, chewing gum also reduces plaque and bacteria, again thanks to an increase in saliva production.
- Pears. Much like vegetables, the fibrous nature of fruits is good for the teeth. However, a study out of South Africa found that pears offer the most protection against tooth decay by limiting drops in pH. Bananas came in just behind pears, stimulating the same effect in the mouth.
- Yogurt. A daily 6-ounce serving of plain, sugar-free yogurt has been deemed a real cavity fighter, according to research. Laboratory outcomes suggest that the healthy bacteria in plain yogurt can “knock out” germs and bacteria hiding between teeth and in the gums.
- Sesame Oil. Swishing for 20 minutes (no, that’s not a typo) with sesame oil, in the same manner as mouthwash, can cleanse the mouth of harmful bacteria. Some purveyors of the practice even claim experiencing whiter teeth after routine care. Experts say the oil acts much like chlorhexidine mouthwash, which is known to effectively reduce gingivitis, plaque buildup, and bacteria in the mouth.
Now, you have more reasons for choosing a diet rich in nutritious, fresh foods—protecting the health of your body from head to toe, starting with your dazzling smile.
To learn more about family dentistry from an affordable dentist in St. Clair Shores, call Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores today at (248) 850-1809 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in St. Clair Shores. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores.