While it’s hard for us to believe, seeing as we’re such a fantastic bunch, we’ve heard through the grapevine that people don’t always enjoy visiting the dentist. How on Earth can that be? (Insert chuckle here) In all seriousness though, we get it. Millions of people struggle with dental phobia, and their fear often keeps them away. Did you know that according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of adults aged 20 to 64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth? So, like it or not, visiting the dentist is a crucial part of life. Patients are always asking though, in an effort to avoid cavities and extra visits to our office, what they can do to prevent tooth decay. Of course we always recommend a regular dental hygiene routine (brushing twice daily, regular flossing and bi-annual professional cleanings and exams), but you can also do a lot of good for your mouth by making healthy food choices.
Recently, the Huffington Post published an article about three great food options you can choose in order to help prevent oral health issues. Do you regularly consume these tooth-friendly items?
- Tea. Most teas contain powerful compounds that interact with plaque and suppress cavity-causing bacteria. Tea leaves also absorb fluoride from soil, meaning some drinks actually contain fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay. Next time you reach for a soda, choose tea instead and make your mouth happy!
- Cheese. Not only is cheese delicious, it also contains calcium and vitamin D. The Academy of General Dentistry published a study that showed that consuming dairy products, including cheese, may help protect your teeth against cavities.
- Seafood. Creatures from the sea contain a very vital component in improving the strength of your teeth: phosphorous. Did you know that seafood has higher levels of phosphorus than plant-based foods? For example, tuna gives you about 20% or more of your daily phosphorus needs in a single 3 oz. serving.
While these foods aren’t going to give you a “pass” from the dental office, they can help make your next appointment easier. Prevention plays a critical role in the battle against oral disease, and what better way to avoid tooth decay than by enjoying some delicious treats?! Bon appetit!