Proper nutrition and focusing on the government's Nutrition Plate have long been associated with general well being and dental health. The process involves eating a diverse diet low in soda and processed foods and high in vitamins and nutrients and focusing on fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. Plus individuals with a sense of adventure can also get additional oral hygiene benefits by eating some exotic foods that have been scientifically shown to reduce the occurrences of dental problems including cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
Statistics indicate that in 2010, the average American consumed close to 2000 pounds of food (http://naturalsociety.com/infographic-average-american-diet/). Dental health savvy options including dairy foods (including cheese), vegetables and fruits are part of the mix, but combined with the approximately 142 pounds of sweeteners, 110 pounds of red meat and pork and nearly 86 pounds of fat (including butter and oils) each person consumed annually, Americans have plenty of room for improvement. Fortunately, there are some small and exotic food choices that can help make a diet more solid while improving the dental health of eaters.
Thanks to changes import and export policies, American supermarkets are loaded with exotic fruits nearly any time of year. Once such food is durian; a fruit from Southeast Asia that can weigh from 2 to 7 pounds, has an unusual scent and is covered in an intimidating thorn-covered skin. Those who boldly incorporate the exotic fruit into their diet can help keep the development of dental caries at bay.
Students from the faculty of Dentistry at the University of Chulalongkorn in Bangkok, Thailand made the announcement at the Annual Meeting of the American Dental Association. According to the work they conducted, durians have a type of sugary gel that natural lowers the level of the oral bacterium called Streptococcus mutans (http://www.dental-tribune.com/articles/content/scope/news/region/usa/id/6620). It is this oral bacteria that breaks down simply sugars deposited on teeth and produces a tooth eroding acid as a result. Studies on lab rats indicated that the durian gel helped neutralize the dental caries causing agents.
Statistics indicate that a majority of America's adult population is unknowingly walking around with some level of gum disease (called gingivitis in its earliest stages and periodontal disease as it advances). There are a myriad of reasons causing the epidemic, including poor oral hygiene,tobacco, alcohol and obesity and it seems like the tiny sesame seed may be able to assist in reversing the trend.
Sesame seeds are an ancient food that has long been heralded for their flavor, culinary uses and oils produced from the seeds are highly regarded in the Hindu religion. The seeds come from the bloom of the genus Sesamum plant, native to Africa and pack not only a delightful flavor, but high levels of Omega-3, the fatty acid accredited with naturally fighting gum disease.
Harvard researches set out to determine if there was a correlation between Omega-3 and gum disease. Based on their research it was found that individuals who had diets rich in Omega-3 foods had a 23 percent to 30 percent decreased odds of having gum disease. Sesame seeds pack a powerful punch of the dietary necessity and can provide a tasty way of delivering the necessary vitamins and nutrients.
When ancient Mayans converted cocoa seeds into a frothy, bitter drink or when the ancient peoples who consumed sugary cocoa at Puerto Escondido, the food was not consumed for its dental health benefits, but simply for the taste and the naturally occurring euphoric side effects. Things have changed.
The average American consumes an average of 10 to 12 pounds of chocolate a year and for good reason. The treat has been proven to boost serotonin levels, lower the risk of developing blood clots, fight bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure and provide cardiovascular benefits. Research has also indicated that pure cocoa extract is rich in fluoride and can naturally strengthen tooth enamel.
Research conducted by Tulane University doctoral candidate Arman Sadeghpour has helped show how the food can benefit dental care dental care. Sadeghpours research found that cocoa extract has a similar structure to caffeine, which is known for the ability to strengthen tooth enamel. The harder the enamel, the lower odds a tooth may become subject to tooth decay.
Individuals looking to get the dental health boosting properties of cocoa are advised to eat dark chocolate (featuring 75 percent cocoa) in moderation. The food is rich in antioxidants (called flavonoids) that are thought to improve the flexibility of blood vessels and will provide health benefits along with its delicious taste (CNN.com).
In addition to eating exotic foods, the best way to boost dental health is by practicing daily oral hygiene as well as seeing a dentist with regularity. Individuals struggling to find a dentist can simplify the task by calling 1-800-DENTIST to get the name of a great dental care provider, now.