When you eat, you’re feeding your body and giving it the nutrients it needs to support itself. But, what you eat can feed someone else, too. Wait, what? Who? The who is the bacteria that live in your mouth in the sticky film of dental plaque.
The Foods Bacteria Love
The tooth decay and gum disease-causing bacteria that live in your mouth love when you eat or drink sugary and starchy foods! When you eat these foods, these bacteria feast and multiply, upsetting the balance of your oral biome — and causing problems for you.
Fight Back — With Food
Not all foods are popular with bacteria. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables can help stimulate saliva production. Increased saliva helps to wash away decay-causing bacteria. Saliva also helps to remineralize your teeth against decay and helps to neutralize acids attacking your teeth. Choose crunchy, fibrous foods like broccoli, apples, kale, carrots and celery.
Dairy foods such a cheese, milk and plain yogurt are also great for your oral health. This is because the calcium, phosphates and vitamin D found in these products play an essential role in the health of your teeth. Dairy products help to remineralize your tooth enamel and prevent plaque from sticking to the teeth and causing tooth decay.
Go Sugar-Free (Gum)
Chewing (sugar-free) gum after eating can help wash away harmful acid that can erode your tooth enamel. We stress that you must choose sugarless gum, because gum with sugar feeds the bacteria that damage your teeth. Chewing gum that contains the artificial sweetener xylitol has been proven to help prevent tooth decay. Some studies have shown that xylitol may help prevent the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the primary bacteria that cause cavities.
Black tea and green tea contain compounds that can prevent bacteria growth, helping to slow down tooth decay and gum disease. If you add honey, sugar or another sweetener to your tea, brush or rinse 30 minutes afterward.
Drink Water With Fluoride
Fluoridated drinking water, or any product you make with fluoridated water, helps your teeth. This includes powdered juices and dehydrated soups. If fluoridated tap water is not available where you live, ask your dentist about fluoride supplementation.
Interested in learning more? Call Legends Dental now at 254-799-9540 to schedule a consultation.