Red wine drinkers and gummy bear addicts unite! These foods and drinks that were once thought of as bad for your teeth and mouth may actually improve your dental hygiene! Who knew happy hour and your favorite candy could help your teeth and gums?
In addition to candy and red wine, other thought-to-be-bad-for-your-teeth drinks and treats such as coffee and cheese, can actually help strengthen your enamel and fight gum disease! So eat and drink up!
A study published by BMC Oral Health in 2008 found that children who ate gummy bears three times a day had less plaque on their teeth and bacteria in their mouth than those who didn’t. Now we aren’t advising you give your kids gummy bears instead of meals, but a handful of these chewy fruit treats could improve their dental hygiene! The reason these treats are good for your teeth has to do with one of the main ingredients, xylitol, which starves off cavity-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites.
Once you get past the stinky coffee breath and slight staining, this caffeinated morning drink is actually quite good for your dental health! Trigonelline, one of the main ingredients in coffee, works to help prevent erosion and tooth decay by providing a protective barrier to your teeth. It also works to keep cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to your gums and teeth! To avoid stains and bad breath, brush your teeth and mouth immediately after you drink it.
Like coffee, too much of this happy hour favorite could stain your teeth — however, that’s about the only bad thing it does! Researchers have found that red wine cuts down on the inflammation caused by periodontal, or gum, disease. Studies done in Italy have also shown that chemicals in red wine called proanthocyanidin have strong antioxidant properties that work to prevent bacteria from sticking to saliva and teeth, which can lead to tooth decay. So go ahead, enjoy that red wine, if only for your dental health!
Cheese & yogurt
Don’t skip the cheese on your burger this time — it could help fortify the surface of your teeth! Because cheese has the same properties as milk and other dairy products, such as yogurt, it raises the calcium properties around the teeth, which works to protect the enamel and fight off bacteria. Dutch studies found that children who ate a 5-gram piece of cheese after breakfast each day for two years had significantly fewer cavities than those who didn’t. Yogurt works to repopulate your mouth with healthy bacteria and fight away the bad stuff, which can cause gum disease.
More dental health tips
Teaching kids about dental health
Dental health during pregnancy
Dietary habits important for dental health