Keep Your Teeth and Mouth Happy!
Did you know that our general health is largely dependant on our oral health?
Oral diseases ranging from dental caries (cavities) to oral cancers cause pain and disability for millions of Americans. The impact of these diseases does not stop at the mouth and teeth. A growing body of evidence has linked oral health, particularly periodontal (gum) disease, to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In pregnant women, poor oral health has also been associated with premature births and low birth weight.
-Healthy People 2020
If a toothbrush is not nearby, here are some good options of food to eat after your meal...
If you're one of the many people who profess a love of cheese, you now have another reason to enjoy this tasty food. A study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry, found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects' mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. It's thought that the chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth.
Like cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. The probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, found in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. If you decide to add more yogurt to your diet, choose a plain variety with no added sugar.
While the ADA recommends steering clear of most sweet foods, there are some exceptions. Fruits, such as apples, might be sweet, but they're also high in fiber and water. The action of eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, which rinses away bacteria and food particles. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums. Pack either a whole apple or apple slices in your lunch to give your mouth a good scrubbing at the end of the meal.
Like apples, carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a handful of raw carrots at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fiber, carrots are a great source of vitamin A. Top a salad with a few slices of raw carrots, or enjoy some baby carrots on their own.
Of course, eating these foods do not take the place of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day!