Surprising Cavity Killers
Most patients are aware that brushing and flossing is the central defender of cavities. However, there are other ways to keep your pearly whites healthy! These foods, drinks and tips may help prevent cavities and tooth decay:
1) Cheese – 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, salvia calcium helps mineralize teeth, which prevents cavities.
2) Sugar Free Gum – Doctors have recommended chewing sugar free gum 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. Bacteria use many pathways to spread, but xylitol is not one of them.
3) Dark Chocolate- Dark chocolate contains cocoa beans with strong antioxidants that can prevent tooth decay. Tannin, the component in dark chocolate that give it its bitter taste, prevents oral bacteria from sticking to one’s teeth. The polyphenols in dark chocolate not only limit bacteria, but also work to prevent bad breath by neutralizing microorganisms. Remember that DARK CHOCOLATE – not milk chocolate or white chocolate – is the cavity killer.
4) 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 and not letting the soda hit your teeth reduces the chances of tooth decay and cavities. That said, drinking sodas still increases your chance of getting tooth decay, so keep your favorite carbonated pick-me-ups to a minimum.
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