May 7, 2018
In an effort to keep our teeth clean, here are some foods and tips to naturally clean your teeth.
"Many factors in addition to sugars affect the caries process, including the form of food or fluid, the duration of exposure, nutrient composition, sequence of eating, salivary flow, presence of buffers, and oral hygiene." (1)
Food types - crunchy foods like apples or raw vegetables like carrots and celery can mechanically scrub your teeth while increasing saliva production.
The fiber in these foods also pushes the saliva into crevices and causes a neutralization of the acid. This saliva balances the pH of your mouth and helps control acidity.
The bacteria found in cavities are the enemies of your teeth.They are attracted to areas of acidity. When we consume simple or refined sugars, oral bacteria ferment the sugar into an acid that can damage your enamel. The more frequently you bring sugar into contact with your teeth the more risk you will have for tooth decay. Once the enamel goes your teeth are in trouble.
The mouth has a diverse oral microbiome that appears to be affected by what we eat. While this data emerges, it is likely that in the future we will be targeting good oral bacteria through prebiotic foods and potentially even probiotics.
Unfortunately, oral health and heart disease are intimately tied together. If you have a strong family history of heart disease, you may want to think twice or three times about the volumes of sweetened foods consumed.
I recommend that you reduce the consumption of foods that promote acid like table sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup or other sugar additives.
Time is also an issue. Sucking on a sugar lollipop or ice pop will cause more oral tooth damage than drinking apple juice quickly because of the increased acid production while slowly sucking.
Drinking water after eating or SWISHING WITH BAKING SODA can help reduce acidity and protect your tooth's enamel.
Finally, xylitol is a sugar alcohol in new chewing gums that increases saliva and has been shown to reduce cavities.