Tooth decay can occur when foods containing processed carbohydrates (starches and sugars) like soda, bread, cereals, cakes, or candy are not washed away from your teeth. With the help of this type of foods bacteria that lives in the mouth develops much faster. The mouth is the ideal spot for bacteria to grow, because of the lack of light and the moist environment. Furthermore, starches and sugars from different foods and drinks help bacteria to produce acid. The acid, food debris, bacteria, and saliva join and form plaque. This plaque clings to the teeth and dissolves the enamel layer of the teeth. This will result in holes in the teeth called caries or cavities.
Fortunately, a series of foods exist that help fight the bacteria and remove plaque. Some foods also strengthen the enamel layer and freshen your breath.
The 5 Foods
- Apples – Studies have shown that apples are the nature’s toothbrush. They stimulate the gums, increase the saliva level and reduce the buildup of plaque that causes cavities. Furthermore, apples are full of more than fifteen vitamins and tens of minerals your body needs.
- Carrots and Celery – offer excellent teeth protection in two ways. Eating them requires extra chewing, and this produces more saliva that will neutralize the acids. Furthermore, carrots and celery will also lower the pH in your mouth.
- Green Tea – Also known as Camellia Sinensis, it contains anti-oxidants called catechins. They kill the bacteria from your mouth and prevent plaque build-up (the sticky film of bacteria, proteins, sugars and fats that destroy your teeth causing cavities and gingivitis).
- Kiwi Fruit – This tiny fruit is full of Vitamin C. In fact it’s the fruit that contains the highest concentration of Vitamin C, supplying more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. The lack of vitamin C causes the collagen network located in your gums to break down, thus making your gums tender and more sensible to bacteria and periodontal disease.
- Strawberries – These are another source of Vitamin C.
There is a long series of foods that will help your teeth and your general heath such as cheese (for calcium), milk (makes your bones and teeth stronger) and lean protein (such as eggs, lean beef and poultry). But one of the best helper out there is water. By keeping your gums hydrated, you stimulate the saliva flow. This is the best defense against bacteria causing plaque and cavities. You just have to rinse your mouth with water, and this will help you keep your mouth clean and wash away any food particles. This will also lower the acidity level in your mouth.
For a better mouth hygiene, it is best to do periodic visits to the dentist. He can check your gum’s and teeth’s health and can resolve any problems you might have. Furthermore, the dentist can offer you advice about your mouth’s health. You can ask your dentist to tell you tips and pointers about different brushes, manual or electrical, and also ask what the best mouth washing products are. With regular check-ups you can be sure your teeth and gums are healthy and if the doctor finds any problem, it is better to resolve it sooner rather than later.