Every dentist under the sun curses certain dietary staples, but how familiar are you with the few that can actually fortify tooth enamel?
Your tooth enamel endures an unrelenting daily assault from staining, acidic food and drink whose particles will chew their way into once-sterling teeth like termites tucking into a table leg. Modern dietary habits have dentists encouraging their patients to stage a freeze-out for the good of their lasting dental hygiene that strikes sugary sweets, coffee, tea and carbonated beverages from their nutrition as thoroughly as possible.
For all the ADA-recommended fluoridated cavity-control toothpastes available wherever fine dental-care products are sold, it goes sadly understated how many widely consumed foods quietly fight the good fight to strengthen tooth enamel. A highly acidic environment of acids pH-rated 3 or lower – especially gastric juice, with a pH of 2 – weakens and erodes enamel faster than saliva can neutralize it without adequate brushing and flossing. Accumulated debris left on teeth in the absence of habitual brushing and flossing will cause oral bacteria to interact with leftover sucrose to create lactic acid, which further speeds up erosion.
On the contrary, calcium-rich foods especially are utter godsends. Their mineral-rich contents are building blocks to an overall healthier skeletal system, including counteracting the persistent acids that assault your teeth’s hard outer coating. The ideal dental care regimen is founded on a foundation of fluoride, flossing, proper brushing, and these six ideal foods. Meanwhile, a few other friends work wonders even their fondest fans might overlook…
- THE SEVEN BEST ENAMEL-SAVING FOODS
- TEA – Granted, it can receive a bad rap for staining otherwise pearly whites and should be avoided immediately after whitening procedures. Nevertheless, black and green teas in particular containswealths of polyphenols that stem the growth of bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. A one-minute rinse with black tea, repeated 10 times a day, reduced the stickiness, thickness and overall build-up in a University of Chicago study group more effectively than the control group’s habitual water rinse. As a bonus, black tea polyphenols have been repeatedly shown to suppress genes in bacteria that produce foul-smelling compounds associated with halitosis.
- MILK – Like so many recommended foods, milk’s calcium payload can render plaque bacteria ineffectual at rotting teeth. A 2013 Journal of the American Dental Association study reported that a glass of milk neutralized the levels of acid in mouths laden with processed sugar after a bowl of Fruit Loops more effectively than water or apple juice. Unfortunately, it can have an almost opposite effect when added to the cereal itself. The sugar sweetens it and gives it a syrupy quality that does teeth no favors at all.
- CHEESE – Once more, it comes right back to calcium. Like nearly any dairy product, cheese is packed with it. That means more minerals shutting down plaque bacteria. As an added bonus, chewing cheese produces an exceptional volume of bacteria-neutralizing saliva. A 2013 study reported on by General Dentistry showed that 12- to 15-year-old adolescents and teens who ate cheddar cheese reduced their oral pH levels significantly compared with another group who consumed a glass of milk or sugar-free yogurt.
- ANYTHING CRUNCHY – OK, so maybe not necessarily just anything. Any dentist would rather a patient stick devoutly to the leanest, healthiest natural foods possible. Still, haven’t you ever heard that a rolling stone gathers no moss? Same principle; intense chewing disturbs dental plaque such that it can’t settle in and, in fact, gets cleared away.
(TIP: For a similar effect, sugarless gum amps up saliva secretion while similarly scrubbing away bacteria without leaving behind plaque-producing sucrose.)
- ANYTHING RICH IN VITAMINS – Calcium shouldn’t get to have all the fun. Meat eggs and fish contain plentiful phosphorous that plays a similarly valuable supporting role. Though acidic food and drink bore lesions in tooth enamel, calcium and phosphorus replace the precious lost minerals. As a bonus, both are known to solidify bone density in the jaw.
- RAISINS – Ah, they’re dentally delectable. Raisins have a pleasant natural sweetness, taste superb in a variety of foods from breads and other baked goods to oatmeal, and contain no sucrose to adhere plaque-producing bacteria to teeth. When they aren’t preventing bacteria from, literally, sticking around, their natural phytochemicals kill cavity-causing plaque bacteria and can interfere with varieties that can cause gum disease.
The dental care industry has made great strides in helping even patients with badly damaged enamel rehabilitate their teeth. Oasis Dental welcomes your contact if you’re concerned about how your everyday diet may be affecting your oral health. Please, give us a call today.