Teeth sweaters. Fuzzy covers. Plaque.
Ever brush your tongue across your teeth and feel that residual build-up of this morning’s breakfast, last night’s dinner, and who knows what else?
Unfortunately, the build-up of dental plaque can keep your teeth from being the pearly whites they’re meant to be. What’s more, dental plaque is composed of harmful pathogens and bacteria that can wreak havoc on your oral health.
What’s Happening In Your Mouth?
Food particles, saliva, and bacteria team up to create the slimy substance that takes over your mouth. Growing on and in-between teeth like a wild weed, tooth plaque build-up can even spread below the gum line.
“You are what you eat” rings true here. Sugars break down carbohydrates, causing them to ferment and give bad bacteria fuel to colonize the mouth. This allows plaque to grow and survive. Talk about having a sweet tooth!
When left unattended, the bacteria in dental plaque can lead to irritation and gum disease, – which is the umbrella term for a myriad of ailments that can affect your oral health like gingivitis, periodontitis (gum infection), and cavities. The more plaque in your mouth, the greater the chance of developing oral health issues.
What Can You Do?
Plaque happens, and tooth-plaque removal can seem like an impossible dream. Knowing how to address it naturally can make the difference between a healthy mouth and a not-so-happy one.
You brush and floss twice a day just as the dentist ordered, but you still have plaque. Why? The mouth, just like the rest of the human body, is a dynamic living ecosystem that requires the right combination of care and prevention for it to thrive.
Flossing may help remove some of the food build-up, but it doesn’t address the need to balance bacteria within the mouth.
An Even Better Approach
A great way to handle bacteria in your mouth is to bring in plant-based reinforcements. Oral healthcare products with botanically derived ingredients restore microbial balance in the mouth without harsh chemicals.
In addition to working at the surface, what you put in your mouth will also help maintain healthy microbial balance in your mouth. Consider these nutritional tips:
- A healthy diet high in proper minerals (think calcium, magnesium, zinc) can inhibit tooth plaque build-up and help keep your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
- Mineral rich foods: Nuts. Seeds. Cruciferous vegetables. Eggs. Avocados. Berries. Tropical fruits. Leafy greens.
- The presence of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K can help maintain tooth structure and prevent decay.
- Food sources of vitamin A: Eggs. Oily fish. Carrots. Sweet potatoes. Red peppers. Mangos. Apricots.
- Sources of vitamin D: Oily fish. Egg yolks. Dairy products. Adequate sun exposure.
- Food sources of vitamin E: Nuts. Seeds. Green leafy vegetables. Eggs. Avocados.
- Food sources of vitamin K: Green leafy vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables. Prunes. Kiwi. Avocado.
- The antioxidants in fresh produce can help keep gums healthy and protect them from mouth bacterial infection.
Do your mouth (and the rest of you) a favor, and start treating plaque from the inside out with a balanced, plant-rich diet and natural oral healthcare products.