Want to have less cavities when you see your dentist in Selden? Here’s a tip: drink a little red wine. New findings suggest that it can help you keep your teeth healthy. That’s the verdict of research conducted by European and Canadian dental experts.
Why Red Wine May Benefit Your Teeth
Health authorities have long suspected that red wine can lower your risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular illnesses. Now it seems that it can protect your teeth from decay-causing bacteria as well. Here’s why:
- Red wine contains substances called polyphenols, which interfere with harmful bacteria’s ability to attach itself to tooth enamel and saliva.
- At the same time, red wine seems to work with the “good” bacteria in your gut to strengthen your immune system and enhance overall health.
- The polyphenols in red wine are antioxidants, substances which not only help to prevent disease but may even inhibit the aging process.
Please note: these findings are not a green light to increase your consumption of alcohol. However, you might want to ask your dentist about whether a glass of red wine every now and then can help to safeguard your oral health.
“But Doesn’t Red Wine Stain Teeth?”
Yes, it can, especially when consumed in large amounts. The key is moderation. Also, it’s important to remember that some people should avoid alcohol altogether. You’ll find nutritional supplements on the market that contain polyphenols derived from red wine extracts. These may provide many of the benefits of the beverage minus the alcohol.
If you’re still concerned about tooth stains, then you should talk to your dentist about teeth whitening treatments. Prescription-grade whiteners can restore your smile’s natural beauty. These formulas remove stain-causing materials through a natural process called oxidation, dissolving them at the molecular level.
“Won’t Over-The-Counter Teeth Whiteners Do the Same Thing?”
Most nonprescription teeth whiteners use chemicals that are less effective than the products available from your dentist. At best, they may provide only a modest whitening effect. If your schedule prohibits regular trips to your dentist, then you may want to ask about take-home whitening kits that you can use at your convenience.
Why Nutrition Plays a Key Role in Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
The recent findings about red wine’s benefits illustrate the importance that proper nutrition plays in safeguarding your oral health. Getting plenty of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats is essential for enjoying healthy teeth and gums. Most experts recommend a nutritional game plan based on the following types of foods:
- Calcium from sources such as reduced-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt.
- Fresh, non-starchy vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
- A wide variety of fruits, including apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, etc.
- Healthy grains from sources such as whole wheat bread.
- Lean protein from foods like chicken or turkey breast. Vegetarians can choose tofu and other non-animal-based protein sources instead.
Your body is like anything else in life. You get out of it what you put into it. Use the information in this post to guide your nutritional choices going forward. That way, you’ll enjoy better dental health both now and down the road.
About the Author
Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino earned his DDS degree from New York University College of Dentistry. He has been practicing dentistry in Selden for more than 30 years. You can reach his office online or by calling (631) 698-9400.