Can certain foods help prevent cavities? It’s a question debated throughout scientific and dental communities. In the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers published findings of a recent study that indicate antimicrobial agents in some foods inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth. In fact, the researchers say red wine was one of the most effective natural substances they tested in terms of inhibiting plaque-causing bacteria.
In this post, we’ll discuss the ramifications of this study – both the good and the bad – as well as detail our own best practices for avoiding cavities.
There’s no denying that many foods contain agents that can inhibit bacteria growth in the mouth. By identifying these foods and agents, researchers help guide the development of more effective oral care products. After all, dental caries is a global epidemic, and the more products at our disposal to fight against caries, the better chance we have of defeating it.
Several studies on red wine and chocolate point to potential heart and oral care benefits. They also stress moderate consumption. These foods are very complex, and while they might help fight cavities, they also pose potential risks. Some people may be adverse to the caffeine in chocolate; others may be allergic to the tannins in red wine. From an oral health perspective, moderation is extremely important because both consumables are notorious for staining teeth.
There’s No Substitute for the Real Thing
What you eat and drink is an important part of the defense against cavities. But there’s another aspect to the defense that is equally as important: maintaining a successful oral health care routine. Here are the four parts to a successful routine:
- Brush for 2 minutes twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash or fluoridated water
- Chew sugar-free gum after meals
By watching your diet, avoiding sugary and processed foods, and by maintaining this routine, your oral and overall health will benefit greatly.
For More Information
We love to hear from our Jacksonville patients about any/all of their oral health concerns. Please feel free to contact us if you’d like more information on the latest research into natural cavity fighters or any other oral health topic.