Sure we could rehash the same old fashioned scare-tactics, but let’s stick to the bright side of things. What foods help keep your pearly whites sparkling and healthy and keep your local dentist in Prescott, AZ happy. Below are the top 5 best foods for your teeth.
1. Sugar-Free Gum
Xylitol is the one exception to the negative health claims surrounding artificial sweeteners. Xylitol is a sugar replacement found in most sugar-free mints and gums. Not only is it not as bad as your standard sugary gums, it actually prevents plaque from metabolizing sugar which degrades tooth enamel.
Miriam R. Robbins DDS, Associate Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxiofacial Pathology, Radiology and Medicine at the New York University College of Dentistry said, “[sugar-free] gum mechanically removes plaque and bacteria from your teeth.”
We’ve all heard the factoid, whether completely true or not, that you burn more calories actually chewing celery than you pack on by eating it. So I don’t think there’s many people pointing to any negative health effects of celery, but it just so happens that celery actually has a cleaning effect because it breaks down into fibrous strands that clean teeth.
Like celery and other fresh veggies and fruits, pears also stimulate saliva creation because their fibrous texture requires a lot of chewing, which is good for teeth. But even more than that, according to one study, pears have a higher acid-neutralizing effect on teeth than other fruits. However, their dried fruit counterparts have the opposite, negative effect on tooth enamel due to their sticky, sugary nature.
4. Tap Water
Conspiracy theories and ethical quandaries surrounding the the mass medication of a population aside, fluoride is indeed found in American tap water. Fluoride reverses damage to teeth by remineralizing enamel that has been dimineralized by acids.
5. Sesame Oil
Last but not least, a less obvious “food” is sesame oil. In some of the oldest medical systems like the Hindu Ayurvedic medicine, a form of gargling sesame oil referred to as “oil pulling” has been used. One recent study concluded washing with sesame oil may be just as effective in fighting gingival scores, bacterial count, and plaque as chlorhexidine mouthwash.
Image used under creative commons license – commercial use (07/30/2014) J R (Flickr)