There may actually be some truth to this according to recent studies. There were five foods reported that may help keep your teeth healthy and white when incorporated into your diet:
- Steak. It may be a stretch, but according to the American Dental Association, the phosphorus in steak protects tooth enamel and bone. It’s known that the act of chewing stimulates salivary flow and that saliva contains antibacterial properties in addition to enzymes that aid in digestion. These antibacterial properties can help protect teeth from decay causing bacteria, so I guess the message here is “chew away”!
- Dark Chocolate. As an independent distributor of Xocai, the world’s first healthy chocolate, I can tell you that dark chocolate contains tannins (antioxidants found in cacao) that prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth while also neutralizing the microorganisms that cause tooth decay and bad breath. Dark chocolate also contains theobromine, an active ingredient that can harden enamel. To learn more about healthy chocolate (not candy!) check out my web site @ www.drlarryshealthychocolate.com or give me a call.
- Cheese. When the pH (the amount of acidity) in your mouth drops below 5.5, acids can erode and discolor your teeth, creating an environment that also favors the bacteria causing decay. Consuming cheese raises the pH of your saliva, protecting the teeth from cariogenic bacteria.
- Xylitol. Xylitol is an all-natural sugar substitute that comes from Beech trees and other plant sources. The reason dentists love it is because xylitol is non-nutritive to the bacteria that cause tooth decay. In other words, it kills them! The most favored form of xylitol is when it is used in chewing gums. As mentioned, the act of chewing stimulates salivary flow, bathing your teeth in calcium and phosphate while washing away harmful bacteria. But remember, all sugar-free gums are not created equal! Xylitol needs to be the FIRST listed ingredient on the package for it to be effective. Some examples of xylitol containing gums are Hershey’s Ice Cubes, Mentos and some Trident brands. You can check out the web site www.Xylitol.org to find other sources of xylitol.
- Tea. Tea has always been touted as having health benefits, but it also contains high levels of polyphenols that fight bacteria, acids and even enzymes that make it easier for dental plaque to stick to your teeth. Tea also has high levels of fluoride which strengthen teeth and make it more difficult for the acids produced by the bacterial plaque to dissolve the enamel. Excessive amounts of tea might stain your teeth but taken in moderation tea is one of the better beverages we can drink. Bottoms up!