(03/21/13) - You are what you eat and so are your teeth! What you don't know
about what causes and fights cavities could surprise you.
Brushing twice a day helps keep our gums and teeth healthy, but there is another proven cavity fighter - green tea. The polyphenols in tea suppress bacteria in your mouth.
Most of us think brushing your teeth is the best way to fight cavities, but diet is actually even more important.
"You get cavities because you have too much sugar or refined carbohydrates in your diet. We are what we eat, it's that simple," says dentist Blanche Grube.
Along with candy and sugary drinks, starchy foods, like white bread and French fries all turn into sugar, and can rot your teeth.
Sugar-free energy drinks can also be rough on your teeth. A recent study finds any energy drinks can do serious damage. The acid in them starts destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use.
"It's what we eat. It's what we eat. It's what we eat," Dr. Grube stresses.
To protect the enamel on your teeth, do not brush right after chewing gum, eating hard cheese or having high-acid in things like soda, wine or citrus fruit. These things soften your enamel, so to avoid causing damage, wait at least 30 minutes after you enjoy them to brush. It will give your saliva enough time to neutralize the acid.
A 2002 study found roasted coffee beans have anti-bacterial properties that may prevent cavities - but skip the latte. The sugar can make your mouth a breeding ground for cavity causing bacteria.
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