Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss -and a Fork 10

This post we will be talking about herbs and spices.  Although great taste is just one reason to use many sweet smelling herbs, did you know that spices like cinnamon, mint, parsley and thyme are packed with monoterpenes, which are a highly volatile compound that help your breath smell fresh. Also, they contain antibacterial properties that prevent cavity causing Streptococcus mutans bacteria.

Cloves are rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which help in fighting infections causing tooth decay. Also their anesthetic property is associated with alleviating any tooth pain.

Chewing gums that use essential plant oils have been shown to reduce bacteria that cause bad breath and cavities.

Though the oils were used for flavor, even a small amount reduced bacteria. In fact, the original formula for Listerine was made from a blend of menthol (from mint) and thymol (from thyme).

So next time you find a spring of mint or parsley on your plate, it’s not there just for decoration. Go ahead, chew on it. It’s good for your teeth.

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Chew on this…

Have you heard that chewing gum can be beneficial to your dental health?  Studies show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.

A 2015 study published in the journal PLoS ONE states, chewing gum for up to 10 minutes can remove 100 million bacteria, or 10% of the microbial load in saliva.

Chewing gum also has an interesting history.  According to wrigley.com…

People worldwide have chewed on natural materials for hundreds of years. Some of these materials include thickened resin and latex from certain types of trees, various sweet grasses, leaves, grains and waxes.

The ancient Greeks chewed mastic gum (or mastiche, pronounced “mas-tee-ka”) for centuries. This substance is formed from the resin contained in the bark of the mastic tree found mainly in Greece and Turkey. Grecian women favored chewing mastic gum to clean their teeth and sweeten their breath.

The Indians of New England taught American colonists to quench their thirsts by chewing the gum-like resin that forms on spruce trees when its bark is cut. In the early 1800’s, lumps of this spruce gum were sold in the eastern United States, making it America’s first commercial chewing gum. Sweetened paraffin wax became an acceptable alternative around 1850 and eventually surpassed spruce gum in popularity.

Chewing sugar free gum can help your teeth in a number of ways. It increases the production of saliva, which helps neutralize plaque acids, it can help clean away food debris, can strengthen teeth, and can reduce the problems associated with dry mouth. Besides all that, it freshens your breath and tastes good too!

When choosing a sugar free gum it helps to look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.

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