That healthy smile may not be so healthy. More than 20 per cent of children and 91 per cent of adults have caries (commonly referred to as tooth decay) in their permanent adult teeth, according to a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHNES).
But a recent breakthrough is available to help support oral health in the form of a sugar-free chocolate flavoured soft chew.
An article published in February’s RDH Magazine, a dental hygiene publication, discusses the discovery and importance of beneficial bacteria that live in the mouth. It’s been known for more than a century that certain bad bacteria in dental plaque are able to convert sugars from the diet to acid, which is bad for teeth. After decades of researching the microorganisms in the mouth, Dr Israel Kleinberg, distinguished professor in the Department of Oral Biology at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine, discovered beneficial bacteria that also live in dental plaque. Dr Kleinberg isolated a nutrient in saliva called arginine, which these “good” bacteria use to naturally produce tooth-protecting buffers. This process can help neutralise the acids from the harmful bacteria and help keep the teeth in a normal pH (acid/base) balance.
Healthy saliva also contains calcium and bicarbonate that help preserve healthy tooth enamel and provide additional buffering. Stony Brook researchers combined arginine, calcium and bicarbonate and patented this vital blend of nutrients that fuels the mouth’s natural defensives. These key tooth-supporting ingredients have been added to BasicBites, a sugar-free chocolate flavored chew that is now being recommended by leading dental professionals.
Here are six ways to help children and even adults maintain their oral health:
Recommended for adults and children over the age of six, these candy-like chews nourish beneficial oral bacteria, while supporting enamel health. Not only this, they are also an excellent source of calcium.
This even includes dried fruit, bread and crackers. Children should choose water and low-fat milk as health beverage alternatives.
If children crave a snack, offer them nutritious foods.
Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and helps wash out foods that produce acids.
Developing good brushing and flossing habits is a must
BasicBites are also recommended for people with dry mouth, a condition that affects approximately 30 per cent of all adults in the United States alone. Chronic dry mouth can cause significant oral health issues and damage teeth.
BasicBites are 20 calories each and available exclusively online at basicbites.com where you can also find more information.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Learn more about raising awareness at ada.org