Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

At Last - a Diet That Will Keep You Smiling; Fat Is Bad for Your Figure, but It Can Protect Your Teeth

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

At Last - a Diet That Will Keep You Smiling; Fat Is Bad for Your Figure, but It Can Protect Your Teeth

Article excerpt

Byline: ANASTASIA STEPHENS

DENTISTS could soon be prescribing old-fashioned British fry-ups or salads dressed in olive oil to fight tooth decay. Whatever the problems fats and oils may cause with weight-loss, research has shown that they can strengthen teeth - just like fluoride - by protecting against demineralisation. Specialists divide foods into those that protect teeth, those that cause cavities and others that are neutral.

TOOTH FAIRIES

Olive oil Teeth exposed to olive oil show significantly less demineralisation and cavity formation. Indeed, olive oil is proving so effective at keeping teeth strong, it has been incorporated into a toothpaste, Airlift, sold in Boots. "Studies have found that olive oil works internally and externally to protect teeth," says Dr Maria Rodriguez, professor of dentistry at the University of Madrid. "Olive oil substantially lowers acidity in the mouth - which can lead to cavities - and attaches to bacteria, washing them away. In addition, it contains high levels of oleic acid and vitamin A, which promote tooth mineralisation."

Nuts and seeds Brazil nuts, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are rich in oils that protect teeth by fighting acidity in the mouth. "Most nuts, except for the sweeter varieties like cashews, are good for the mouth, gums and teeth," explains Dr Rodriguez.

If you've just had a sweet snack or drink, eating a handful of nuts can protect teeth, by neutralising any acid.

Oily fish Oily fish such as tuna and mackerel can lower mouth acid levels for up to three hours. Evidence is emerging that fish oils line the teeth with a coating of fat, preventing bacteria from sticking to them and causing decay.

Cheese

Cheese acts in a similar way to oily fish.

Eating a portion of cheese is an ideal way of protecting teeth from the tooth weakening effects of sweet desserts.

TOOTH ENEMIES

Milk chocolate Chocolate, confectionery and sweet fizzy drinks all create an oral environment that weakens teeth. Sugar causes an almost instant increase in acidity that can last for two hours or more. This strips away minerals, allowing bacteria to multiply. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.