Is Europe's Toothfriendly logo making its way to packaged goods? Find out why food makers might want this logo on their foods.
Taking care of our teeth, for many reasons, is important to our overall health and well being. Without teeth it would be difficult to enjoy a variety of foods of different textures as well as obtain nutrients to maintain and promote health.
The foods we choose as fuel and how often we eat affect our general health as well as our teeth and gums. That’s one of many reasons why Europe is looking to implement a Toothfriendly logo on certain, non-erosive foods. Gum makers have been using the Toothfriendly logo for years. In the U.S., approximately 90 percent of those over 20 are affected by tooth decay.
So why is a Toothfriendly logo important? Keeping your mouth healthy actually promotes overall health. Researchers from Harvard Medical School found that one of the most important contributing factors to longevity was daily flossing. Flossing helps remove bacteria from the teeth and gums, preventing periodontal disease and gingivitis.
The amount of sugary sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and energy dense - nutrient poor - snacks that Americans consume is a major concern for dentists and other health professionals. In studying the dental health of people from different cultures (typically those isolated from modernization) with good teeth, researchers found that their diets were much higher in vitamins and minerals - particularly calcium and vitamins A and D.
Vitamins A and C are needed for the absorption of calcium, and calcium is an important element in our teeth. Dark green leafy vegetables have good amounts of chlorophyll, phosphorous, vitamins A and C, all of which are needed for calcium absorption. Chlorophyll is thought to help build enamel and prevent tooth decay, while vitamin C helps reduce plaque from building up.
What are some good foods for teeth?
Encourage shoppers to choose plant foods that require a lot of chewing like apples, celery, and carrots, which help clean and may even whiten teeth. Chewing increases saliva production, which helps restore the pH balance in your mouth; a low pH can cause damage to your teeth. Celery and parsley are also thought to help freshen breath.
Strawberries have gentle cleansing and bleaching properties, and may help remove coffee and tea stains - a remedy commonly used in some European countries. Make sure you rinse or brush after eating strawberries (or using them to whiten) as the acid, if left on the teeth, can be harmful to the enamel.
Cheese, particularly cheddar, is also great for your teeth. The fats in cheese work to counteract acids in foods by restoring the pH balance and cleaning our teeth. Cheese contains calcium and phosphorus which help protect tooth enamel and prevents the build up of plaque. Cheese also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps clear your mouth of any food particles left on the surface of the tooth.
Regularly brushing and flossing, and visiting the dentist for professional cleanings twice a year can go a long way in keeping you healthy! In the meantime, direct shoppers to these Toothfriendly options, so they can shop smart for good oral health!