The Green Goblin of oral hygiene is an influx of cavities in one’s mouth. Most patients are aware that brushing and flossing is the central defender of cavities. However, few people know about these foods, drinks, and other tips that may help prevent cavities and tooth decay.
- Cheese- Evidently, being cheesy isn’t always a bad thing. Casein, a protein included in cheese, increases calcium levels in the mouth. Because teeth already partially consist of calcium, salivary calcium helps mineralize teeth, which prevents cavities. This does not mean that you should eat 5 cheese sandwiches a day. However, a dose of cheese every now and then wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it might help!
- Sugar Free Gum- Believe it or not, chewing sugar free gum has been doctor recommended to avoid cavities for years. The reason – sugar free gum consists of a sugar substitute called “xylitol.” This isn’t the same teeth-rotting sugar substitute included in diet soda. Xylitol prevents cavities because bacteria cannot use it to grow or produce acid.
- Dark Chocolate- Perhaps indulging isn’t as guilt-stricken as one would think. It turns out that dark chocolate contains cocoa beans with strong antioxidants that can prevent tooth decay. Tannins, the component in dark chocolate that give it its bitter taste, prevent oral bacteria from sticking to one’s teeth. The polyphenols in dark chocolate not only limit bacteria, but also work to cease bad breath by neutralizing microorganisms. Remember that DARK CHOCOLATE – not milk chocolate or white chocolate – is the cavity killer.
- Using a Straw- Carbonated beverages are never a wise choice regarding oral health. However, there is a way to limit cavity growth while consuming soda: using a straw. Using a straw prevents the soda from hitting your teeth, reducing the chances of tooth decay and cavities. However, the best way to avoid cavities regarding soda is NOT DRINKING SODA.
- Red Wine- *For the 21+ only* While many believe that wine is an unfavorable drink for teeth due to the stain left behind, one study suggests otherwise. It was found that wine has many components that actively prevent tooth decay and cavities. This isn’t saying that one should excessively drink wine, and isn’t even proof that red wine is effective in fighting cavities. It merely says that wine consists of cavity fighting components.