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food for teeth ?

Hello. I've heard that teeth were able to absorb some substances/molecules thanks to the porosity of the enamel. Unlike bones, as they are not self-regenerating from the outside, I was wondering what substances may be usefull to offset the erosion of the enamel (remineralization ?). Is there something that could be concidered as a "food" for teeth ? Also, about dental caries, as they are mainly caused by bacteria eating "fermentable carbohydrates" who generate acidity, here is a question that may sound stupid, but that is serious : - to make the work of those bacteria harder, is it better to sleep with the mouth wide opened (oxygened mouth) or with the mouth closed (anaerobic conditions) ?

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Kiteman9 years ago
Various toothpastes claim to be able to "re-enamel" teeth, or close pores that lead to sensitivity.

The only way diet can give you strong teeth, though, is long gone for most readers - plenty of calcium and phosphorus-bearing foods. Milk, cheese etc eaten whilst toothbuds are developing inside the jaw (so they cease to be useful as son as your second set of teeth start erupting through the gum).

As for mouth open/mouth closed, I don't think the conditions inside your mouth will get very anaerobic overnight (the airways are still connected at the back of your mouth), but it is generally-speaking the anaerobic respiration of bacteria that generates the more toxic and smelly waste products.

Yeast produces alcohol anaerobically, and that horrible smell when you stir up pond mud is due to anaerobic respiration.

However, sleeping with your mouth consistently open leads, in my experience, to a much less pleasant morning experience - furry teeth, odd tastes etc - due to the ever-present air-borne bacteria drifting into your mouth and finding a very cosy space to spend the night raising several billion kiddies.

The best way to make life hard for the bacteria is to brush your teeth as soon as you wake and just before you go to bed. During the day, chew sugar-free gum, especially if you can't brush your teeth after lunch. It looks a bit moronic, but you're generating alkali saliva without providing sugar for the bacteria.

If you're not allowed to chew gum (most UK schools ban gum in lessons, offices often frown upon it because it makes the cubicles look full of cattle chewing the cud), then try licorice sticks (actually the root from which licorice is extracted). Available from most health food shops in the UK for about 10p each, snap a couple of inches off and chew the end as you work.

You can even practice cool cowboy poses in reflective surfaces, since the short brown thing often looks like Clint's cheroot.

(That's an extra bit of advice for all you smokers out there - chewing licorice root gives you clean teeth and something to fiddle and gesture with when you don't have a cigarette in your mouth.)
Kiteman Kiteman9 years ago
My god, I wrote a lot there - hope it helps!
chooseausername (author)  Kiteman9 years ago
well, it brings a lot more question too ;-) I'm going to ask just few of them though ... For instance : Milk and cheese generates lactic acids. So, isn't drinking milk (without drinking water just after to help to regulate acidity, or without brushing teeth) a source of errosion more than a benefit for the teeth ? Isn't there a mean to regulate the acidity of the mouth during the sleep ? Few years ago, at TV, i saw a woman who explained she feel the need to absorb some chalk ... A doctor on the TV set, said it was a "natural" instinct (or something our prehistorical ancestors were used to do), and that it may be a good source of calcium for the body, etc ... Despite eating chalk may look totaly crazy (and maybe dangerous ?), could it be a real benefit for the body, and more particularly for teeth if it's true ? :-)
> They don't generate lactic acid in your mouth.

> Not that I'm aware of.

> Odd cravings like that are most typical of pregnant women. The sense of taste can change drastically during pregnancy, making icky things taste nice if they contain minerals lacking in the woman's diet that are needed by the developing baby. Suddenly liking oranges, eating chalk or coal are well-known cravings. Eating lots of cake is just greedy.
chooseausername (author)  Kiteman9 years ago
Thanks for all your answers Kiteman :-)
I've a lot more questions "that are pending", but I would not like to exhaust your patience ... so i will keep them for an other day =o)

About eating chalk, I did not thought it was so common ...
I've just found an insteresting article about that. They call this behavior "Pica" :
http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2669