We all seek to take the best care of our mouth and teeth as possible. Sometimes this task can feel daunting, especially if you have had difficulty with cavities and other dental decay. While a faithful dental care regimen (including regular dental cleanings and daily brushing and flossing) lays the foundation for a happy mouth, the foods you eat also play a significant role in your oral health. Some foods have a greater tendency to cause tooth decay, while others are helpful in preventing oral decay.
In general, sugary and starchy foods are some of the greatest culprits to damaging your teeth and causing breakdown and decay. These foods feed the bacteria that live within your mouth, which in turn causes plaque and wears on the enamel covering on your teeth. To help keep your mouth healthy and cavity free, here are some suggestions on foods that will aid in oral health:
Fiber-rich foods tend to have a cleansing effect on your mouth. These foods tend to also create more saliva in your mouth, which in turn can reduce the effect of acids and bacteria as well as restore minerals to teeth. Examples of some of the most fiber-rich foods include: split peas, lentils, beans, artichokes, broccoli, berries, oatmeal, and barley, however, most all fruits and vegetables will be significantly higher in fiber than other food groups.
Cheese and Dairy
Due to the saliva-producing qualities of cheese and dairy, these foods are another great option for helping to prevent tooth decay. As well, casein (a protein in cheese) can help protect your tooth enamel against the effects of acid erosion.
Sugar-free chewing gum made with xylitol is quite helpful in preventing cavities. The xylitol is helpful because it breaks down the cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. In order to be effective, it should be consumed 3-5 times daily (to reach 5 grams per day). When choosing sugar-free gum, be sure that xylitol is the primary ingredient to make sure the amount of xylitol in the product is enough to be effective.
Green and Black Tea
Both green and black tea contain polyphenols that interact with plaque bacteria. These polyphenols attack the bacteria, preventing it from growing or producing damaging acid within the mouth. When the damaging acids are not present, teeth are more protected from decay.
Keeping a healthy mouth can feel like a daunting task. We at River Valley Smiles are here to help. If it’s been awhile since you’ve been in for your bi-annual cleaning, please feel free to call our friendly office staff at 479.646.0706 or, for your convenience, fill out an appointment request HERE. We’d love to help you get back on the road to long-term dental health.