The food and drink you choose to consume can be helpful or damaging to your beatiful smile. Some fight decay and some invite it. We are here to help you learn more about foods to seek out and those to avoid to help keep you smiling for a lifetime!
There are many links between oral health and nutrition. How healthy your teeth and gums are is directly linked to how healthy your heart and other systems are.
Foods that are fiber-rich, like fruits and vegetables, stimulate saliva flow - which is our natural defense against cavitity formation. Saliva washes away food particles, cleans your mouth and neutralizes the acid attack on your teeth. Whole food nutrition and high fiber foods have been proven to slow the progression of periodontal disease. Plant based diets offer a plethera of nutritional benefits like low levels of saturated fats, cholesterol and animal protien (none of which contain fiber) and high levels of fiber, anitoxidants and vitamens.
Next, chewing xylitol-containing gum has been shown to have decay preventing qualities and inhibits the growth of the streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), the plaque-forming bacteria that cause cavities.
Another way to fight cavities and reduce plaque is by consuming black, green or white tea. Studies have shown that green tea is good for oral health because of the high content of catechins (antioxidants). The catechins have anti-microbial effects against the harmful bacteria (S. mutans) that live in our mouth. Studies show that just rinsing with green tea (wihout sugar of course) strongly blocked S. mutan growth and killed about half! Using the tea as a "mouthwash" also prevented the bacteria from adhering to the teeth when sugar was consumed afterward. So regular use of green tea as a mouth rinse or added to toothpaste is a cost effective prevetion that has been shown to work better than antiseptic mouthwashes at reducing plaque. To go a step further, you can add a teaspoon of amla (dried Indian gooseberry powder) to your green tea mouth rinse to prevent the S. mutans plaque forming ability. Another study showed that the polyphenols (antioxidants that detoxify the body from cell-damaging free radicals)in black tea prevent growth of the bacteria responsible for bad breath. (Just remember, while drinking and or rinsing with green or black tea is helpful to your oral health, they can stain your teeth after prolonged use. Having regular cleanings, brushing and flossing daily can lessen the severity of this problem.)
We go into depth about foods and beverages that you should avoid to keep your smile beatiful and healthy in our blog post titled Top Foods That Damage Your Teeth.
To learn more about this topic go to http://nutritionfacts.org/video/whats-the-best-mouthwash/