Dentistry and food are intimately involved. The teeth are responsible for chewing food and beginning the process of digestion. The variety of food we have to choose from in this age of consumerism and immediate gratification poses a great challenge to having a healthy mouth.
Foods that contain carbohydrates (high sugar content) are referred to as cariogenic or cavity causing. The decay process begins when dental plaque and the acid produced from high sugar foods are left on the teeth for extended periods. Eventually, the acid will break down enamel.
To reduce the possibility of dental decay, limit eating sweets to mealtime and brush and floss thoroughly after meals. Some of the less sugary snack foods include fruits and vegetables. These foods are great for your teeth and your overall health.
Celery: One of the best foods for you as it requires a lot of chewing, causing the mouth to produce extra saliva. Saliva destroys one type of bacteria that causes plaque. It also massages your gums and cleans spaces between your teeth.
Cheese: Low in carbohydrates which plaque thrives on. pH is also managed by cheese in the mouth.
Onions: They may not be great for your breath but they are for your mouth. The antibacterial compounds in onions kill one of the types of bacteria that cause plaque. Unfortunately these plaque fighting compounds are strongest when raw, so keep a toothbrush handy!
Parsley and Mint: Help to freshen your breath and are completely natural. (Try some after eating a raw onion!) Add chopped parsley to salads or put mint on top of dessert.
Seeds: Are important in cleaning plaque from the teeth and seeds like sesame seeds are high in calcium and good for bones.
Water: It rinses and cleanses your mouth as well as hydrates your tissues. Drink six to eight glasses a day for optimal health.
These are just some of the foods that are good for your mouth. Try to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally for maximum health benefits.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.