Back when mankind was still in its infancy, foods were a lot simpler. They were also a lot less tasty. These tasty foods often come with a price… the health of your mouth. Dental techniques have advanced a lot over the last several decades. The effect that foods have on the overall health of the body and the mouth has been a focus in recent years. Luckily, foods can be both healthy and delicious. Some foods will actually help your teeth strengthen themselves.
Tea, especially green tea, is one of the best beverages for your mouth. Both black and green teas contain polyphenols, compounds which help kill bacteria in the mouth. Green tea also contains catechins, another natural anti-biotic. When bacteria grows it can lead to bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. The unsweetened varieties of teas are better for you. A lot of sugar will counter the beneficial attributes of the tea.
As we age, the collagen in our gums begins to break down. This is especially true if we do not get enough Vitamin C. Everyone knows that oranges are high in Vitamin C, but there are foods which have a higher Vitamin C count. Peppers, specifically bell peppers and chili peppers, have a high Vitamin C level and can be eaten in many different dishes. Other foods charged with Vitamin C are Kale, Papayas, Broccoli, Strawberries, Pineapple, and Kiwi.
Milk is well know for its overall health benefits. One of its byproducts, cheese, helps balance out the pH levels in the mouth. Because the acidity is taken out of the mouth, the enamel of the teeth is preserved. Research has shown that teenagers who ate cheese had had lower acid levels in their mouth than teens who drank milk or ate sugar-free yogurt.
In the animal kingdom, plaque is stripped away by chewing on sticks and stalks. When we eat healthy crunchy foods, such as apples, celery, and carrots, the extra plaque is scraped away and bacteria are forced out of the mouth. Chewing also increases saliva production. Which brings us to the next healthy food… sugarless gum.
Saliva is our mouth’s way of neutralizing the acids of the mouth. The important thing to remember here is that the gum needs to be sugarless. When the gum is chewed from side-to-side, extra food can be dislodged between brushings. Some gums have bonus ingredients which aid cavity prevention and even strengthen other areas of the mouth.
Eating any of these foods, or all of them, is no substitution for brushing and flossing. Eating healthy will benefit the mouth, the body, and the mind. When a mouth is healthy, it is easier to keep the rest of the body healthy. There are so many recipes that can be made in a way that makes them truly succulent. Experimenting with recipes means limitless possibilities await. There is no reason that all the benefits these foods offer cannot be fully embraced one bite at a time.
Copyright Dr.Jean-Jacques Edderai 2015