There’s no doubt about it. Too much sugar causes tooth decay.
For healthy teeth, the best approach is to avoid or control the consumption of sugar-rich foods. The list does not only include the obvious culprits such as candy, soda, or cakes and pastries but also those with hidden sugar content such as French fries, dried fruits, and bread.
However, knowing which foods to keep away from is only part of the larger battle. Our previous post on maintaining good oral health already mentioned a number of tips on improving your diet but to further expound on the topic, we’ve compiled a list of food and beverages to stock in your pantry.
• Crunchy fruits and veggies. This spectacular group includes apples, celery, and carrots. As we stated earlier, crunchy fruits and vegetables are nature’s toothbrushes. Munching on these goodies encourage the production of saliva which in turn counterbalance bacteria that causes decay. The coarse texture of these fruits and veggies also give gums a soothing massage.
• Cheese or milk. Rich in calcium, cheese and milk help regulate the pH balance in the mouth by reducing acid that attacks the tooth enamel.
• Water. The best drink to keep in handy. Water washes away food residue and is as (perhaps, even more) effective as any commercial mouthwash. The bonus is that adequate water intake flushes out toxins thus maintaining overall health.
• Food rich in vitamin C. This vitamin is important for the health of gums and tissues. Fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C include strawberries, guava, broccoli, papaya, kiwi, bell pepper, oranges, and green and leafy vegetables.
• Onions. The scent of onions may be off putting to some but this vegetable is packed with antibacterial compounds that neutralize cavity-causing bacteria. They are best when eaten raw.
• Sesame seeds. If you’re looking for an alternative to dairy products, sesame seeds are your best bet. Sesame seeds are full of calcium and sufficient consumption help build and preserve strong bones that support teeth.
Loading up on these delicious and nutrient-rich foods are not only beneficial to your teeth and gums but they are also essential in keeping your overall health. Stick to a healthy diet and enjoy the benefits.
There is much controversy and debate surrounding fluoride these days. On one hand of the spectrum are supporters stating that fluoride reduces tooth decay and adding it to drinking water is beneficial to those who can’t afford dental care. On the other end are those who are expressing alarm that fluoride side effects outweigh the benefits.
But what is it?
Fluoride is a chemical ion of the element fluorine and is one of the most abundant elements on earth. Used mainly in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other chemical products; fluoride is said to help prevent tooth decay through protection against acids and the remineralization of damaged teeth.
While it may be true that fluoride toothpastes offer protection and fluorinated water has saw the decreased of tooth decay among children and adults in the lower social strata, studies are being done on its possible health effects.
Some health groups have stated that long-term exposure and excessive consumption of fluoride can cause low IQ, depression, weight gain, increased cancer risks, and heart problems. This concern has been somewhat validated through a research done by Harvard University.
According to the website of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), the recent research revealed that there is a correlation between children living in high-fluoride areas and low IQ. In contrast, children in low-fluoride areas display much higher IQ. Although the studies aren’t conclusive enough, the initial findings support the concern of health groups and demand further study.
In the meantime, if you wish to avoid fluoride; there are fluoride-free toothpastes available. They can usually be found in health shops and are slightly more expensive than the regular toothpastes. Alternatively, you can take the DIY route and make your own toothpaste with coconut oil and baking soda. Coconut oil is known for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties while the baking soda acts as a mild abrasive for cleaning teeth.