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Everyday food and drinks can boost oral health
Updated: 3/11/2011 5:00:00 PM

Individuals may add some cavity and plaque fighting foods to their diets for added oral benefits When people think of ways that they can improve their oral health, extra brushing and flossing may be the first things that come to mind. However, some individuals may be surprised to discover that certain food items contain cavity-fighting ingredients that could help promote oral hygiene during the times between home dental care.

Sugar-free gum products, such as those manufactured by Wrigley's, use xylitol as a substitute sweetener. According to California dentist Louis Amendola, bacteria that are found in the mouth cannot digest xylitol as they can sugar. This helps to prevent the release of acids that can erode teeth and cause decay.

"Xylitol also increases saliva and its pH level, which helps remineralize tooth enamel and fight plaque buildup," he added.

Individuals may consider chewing sugar-free gum products after meals to freshen breath and ward off plaque until they are able to brush their teeth.

Green and black teas contain ingredients that may inhibit plaque from bonding to the surface of teeth, according to researchers at the University of Illinois.

Amendola recommended a few additional food and drink options that hold dental benefits similar to those found in gum and tea, including cheese, raw vegetables and tap water.

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