Foods Fighting Against Plaque

Posted by: Charlie Burrows

We all know that there are certain foods and drink that can impact our dental health, from chocolate and sugar laden treats to full fat fizzy drinks, juices and cakes. The effects too much sugar have on our teeth and gums is damaging over long periods of time especially if we don’t brush properly and regularly. Mouthwash, electronic toothbrushes, interdental brushing, flossing and using fluoride-strong toothpaste are all effective preventatives of plaque and tooth decay however, what if there were actual foods that may help help fight dental problems too?

 

Wine study

There have been multiple warnings about wine being full of calories, mainly because of it’s sugar content and although this is true, a new study published in the journal of agricultural and food chemistry ( https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1021/jf070352q) has shown that wine has health benefits and properties which act as a disinfectant, protecting you against germs which cause plaque and even a sore throat. It sounds too good to be true but the organic compounds found in red and white wines contribute to a healthier mouth, in terms of reducing bacteria. Aside from the sugar aspect which is still dangerous in large quantities, it has been known for a while that red wine can help against coronary heart disease but this study in particular proves that properties in both wines can protect against strep bacteria that causes sore throats.

No doubt this news will put smiles on faces everywhere but we must also consider that it’s not just wine that is a contributing factor to our dental health.

 

Healthy Food

There’s a good chance you have eaten foods and not even realised how they can impact your dental health, in a positive way. There are in fact many plaque-fighting foods and we eat them all the time:

Dairy

Cheese is particularly good for “cleaning” the palette but it also helps create saliva and the calcium helps restore minerals to your teeth enamel which can deteriorate over time from acidic foods and staining.

 

Sugar Free Chewing Gum

As with cheese products, sugar free gum can create saliva and reduce build up of plaque.

 

Greens

Everyone should eat vegetables and leafy greens anyway as part of a healthy diet but from a dental perspective they are incredibly rich in calcium. They also include folic acid and are crucial for fighting plaque.

 

Fiber Rich Foods

Fiber rich foods such as wholegrain pasta and cereals, carrots and brocolli and other vegetables with high fiber content, as well as nuts and some fruits can help clean your teeth. By producing saliva it reduces the enzyme and acid build up which attacks your teeth and, with the added calcium from the foods and the included properties all help fight cavities and gum disease.

 

Meats and Fish

Meat and fish are effective at not only building muscle (through protein and oils) and keeping you strong, but they also include phosphorous which contributes to healthy teeth.

 

Subverting Expectations

As with anything, moderation is the key, whether it’s diet, drink or sugary foods. No, we shouldn’t over-consume sugar based products but not everything is entirely bad for us and this latest study shows a direct link between wine and it’s positive effects on the health of our teeth. Many of the foods listed above which are effective for maintaining strong healthy teeth have some negative elements, especially if you are following a particular diet however, the dental health benefits can often outweigh the negatives, when considering a controlled and moderated diet. We may think of certain foods and drink as bad for us for one reason or another but we should start considering just how some of these foods can actually help us in the long run.

 

Other sources: https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/07/new-study-finds-wine-prevents-sore-throats-dental-plaque-9426769/