Can You Guess What Snack May Fight Cavities & Protect Your Tooth Enamel?
I've never met a person who looks forward to visiting their dentists, especially if they're a person prone to cavities. Regardless of how nice a person our own dentist may be, we turn to them for unpleasant work that may save us from pain but which involves a certain amount of immediate discomfort and expense.
For that matter, it can be difficult to even find a dentist taking new patients: it's a very skilled occupation, and the number of people with dental problems just seems to be growing. Therefore, demand for their services is often stretching supply.
Let's talk about how to save ourselves some of the pain and expense associated with tooth decay and gum disease. What are the causes of tooth decay? Based on what we’ve read (we’re not experts remember, we’re just sharing information we found interesting and think others may too)— tooth decay is mostly caused by an infestation of bacteria in the mouth.
These bacteria feed on what we eat, especially sugars and starches, and their waste products lower the pH of our mouths, making a more acidic environment. This acid proceeds to eat through teeth and inflame tissue.
Obviously, brushing and flossing are key to scraping away this bacteria, but what can we do about the overall acidity of the mouth? Even with no bacteria, many things we eat, and especially what we drink (soft drinks, beer, milk, wine, juice, even some water), are acids and make the mouth corrosive to your teeth. Once the pH of the mouth falls below 5.5, decay begins as acid rips out minerals from the teeth faster than can be repaired.
A commonly recommended tip to help this is by eating cheese, which has a two-fold benefit: chewing it leaves films of calcium on your teeth, helping to protect the enamel on your teeth, but it's also very alkaline, helping to reduce the acidity in the mouth. Eating hard cheeses (e.g., cheddar) after a meal is cavity fighting ritual popular with some.
So enjoy the cheese tray!