[A Moist Mouth Protects Against Cavities | Health Smart | Reader's Digest Asia]
What works 24/7 at fighting tooth decay? Saliva
Saliva is rich in the minerals, calcium and phosphorus that remineralise our pearly whites, and it neutralises acids produced by bacteria and sugars. But it is easily depleted when we become dehydrated from sports, medications, vomiting and stomach reflux. Here’s how to treat dry mouth:
Sip plain tap water often. Water keeps the mouth moist and loosens mucous.
Eat chewy or crunchy foods, like sugar-free gum, hard cheeses and raw vegetables to stimulate saliva flow.
Talk to your doctor or dentist about using a saliva substitute or topical gel for your gums. Some toothpastes, such as Biotene Dry Mouth Toothpaste, help maintain good levels of moisture in the mouth.
Smoke, drink too much alcohol or caffeinated drinks, or eat spicy foods. They only serve to dry out your mouth further.
Breathe through your mouth, if you can avoid it. It causes moisture in the mouth to dry out faster.