Be Kind To Your Mouth With What You Put In It

Dentist Office in Raytown and Pleasant Hill, Missouri

Beneficial Foods For Optimal Oral Health

Findings in a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) suggest many foods have positive effects on oral health.  Below is a list of the some of these pro-dental health munchables:

  1. Basil:  basil has antibiotic properties and thereby reduces bacterial load in the mouth.
  2. Broccoli:  broccoli has been shown to form an acid-resistant film on teeth which protects against enamel erosion.   
  3. Carrots:   not only are carrots loaded with Vitamin A, but like all crunchy vegetables, carrots stimulate the gums.
  4. Cheese:  cheese contains lactic acid which prevents tooth decay.
  5. Ginger:    ginger possesses anti inflammatory qualities that help maintain the tissue health in the oral cavity.
  6. Green tea: green tea contains antioxidants such as catechin.
  7. Kale: kale is loaded with minerals that support teeth.
  8. Kiwi:  kiwi has more Vitamin C than any other fruit.
  9. Lemon:  lemon behaves as a natural tooth whitener.
  10. Onions: onions have been shown to limit bacteria which contribute to tooth decay.
  11.  Pineapple: pineapples stimulate salivation. A great natural bacteria-fighting mouthwash consists of pineapple juice plus citric acid.
  12. Quinoa: a grain full of minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese and Phosphorus.
  13. Salmon: salmon is abundant in Vitamin D, an important component of calcium absorption.
  14. Sea Salt:  sea salt strengthens teeth by loading them with the right minerals.
  15. Sesame Seeds: sesame seeds are great natural abrasives which keep teeth free from plaque.
  16. Xylitol:  several studies have shown that this artificial sweetener aides in the prevention of tooth decay.
  17. Shiitaki mushrooms:  contain a Lentinan, a sugar which prevents bad bacteria from growing.            
  18. Stevia: another artificial sweetener, does not acid attach enamel like sugar does.
  19. Strawberries: strawberries are high in Vitamin C, which is essential to gum health. 
  20. Wasabi: contains the anti-microbial agents called isothiocyanates.

Notwithstanding all the great attributes of these wonderful foods, good old H2O still takes home the prize as the best thing to put in your mouth to keep things inside health.   Despite your outlook over whether water your glass is half-empty or half-full, if that glass contains water you are headed in the right direction.  As animals, our bodies are composed of 60% water, thus remaining hydrated allows your body to distribute essential nutrients, properly and comfortably remove waste, and keeps your skin moist your muscles in proper function. (remember most cramps are caused by dehydration). According to many, consuming large amounts of water also aides in suppressing hunger resulting in weight loss.


Water Strengthens Your Teeth

Drinking water containing fluoride is the cheapest and easiest way to fight tooth decay. There can be no mistake regarding the beneficial qualities of fluoride on the teeth. In 2011, the city of Calgary decided to stop adding fluoride to its water, leading to an unfortunate outcome. Researchers found that children in neighboring Canadian cities with fluoride containing water had lower decay rates than those in Calgary.  According to Dr. Steven Patterson, a professor at the University of Alberta School of Dentistry, "The early effects of fluoridation cessation found in this study support the role of water fluoridation in contributing to improved oral health of children and that it is a public health measure worth maintaining."
The American Dental Association endorses the fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. The ADA continues to work with federal, state, local agencies and communities to advocate for fluoridation in all water supplies.  Those in areas without water fluoridation are advised to use supplemental fluoride, especially for children.

Water Keeps Your Mouth Clean

While orange juice, soda or sports drinks may taste good and quench your thirst, these beverages will leave unwanted sugar residue behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar and manufacture acid which destroys tooth enamel.  Many of these unhealthy drinks also are loaded with additional acids (phosphoric, citrus or malic acid) to help improve the taste, but these acids also erode your teeth.

The grand champion water, on the other hand, cleanses your oral cavity with every drink, sip, gulp or chug. It clears leftover food and destructive residue that cavity-causing bacteria need to survive. Water also serves as a great buffer to stabilize the pH in your mouth when you are enjoying the guilty pleasure of a drink such a Red Bull or Coca Cola. Although consumption of an adequate amount of H2O doesn’t eliminate the need to brush, it is a tremendous aide in preventing dental problems.  

Water Fights Dry Mouth

Your body’s natural production of saliva from salivary glands is key in prevention of dry mouth, a condition which can result in destruction of your teeth. Saliva helps wash away leftover food, helps both swallowing and digestion and helps keep teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate and fluoride. Drinking water ensures your body can produce adequate saliva to keep your teeth (and body) functioning properly.

Water is Calorie-Free

Sweetened drinks that are high in sugar, carbohydrates and calories, wreak havoc on your teeth and cause other adverse health consequences like weight gain and/or diabetes. In fact, as we mentioned above, water is essential to a effective weight loss program.  So the next time you need a drink, “stop the pop” and choose a healthy glass of water, your body will thank you. Stop the pop is an oral health campaign developing by the Missouri Dental Association which advocates minimizing the consumption of sugary acidic beverages such as colas.