Want a new way to control tartar and plaque? Eat some yoghurt or perhaps some sauerkraut. That may sound crazy, but it's not. Yoghurt, sauerkraut, and other foods you may already be eating contain probiotics – good germs with many benefits, including improving oral health.
Are Probiotics Good For Oral Health?
Probiotics are made up of germs and yeasts. People often think of all germs as harmful, but that's not the case. Probiotics consist of live beneficial germs and yeasts in your body. The "good germs" fight off your "bad germs". Though probiotics are recognised for helping people with digestive issues, the health benefits extend far beyond your stomach, including the skin, lungs, urinary tract, and mouth. Probiotics can be found in both foods and supplements.
Research is ongoing to determine if probiotics can improve oral health, too. Many consider them an effective and natural way of fighting gum problems, plaque, bad breath, and maybe even cancer. For example, one study showed probiotics might reduce infection-producing microbes, also called pathogens (germs that can cause disease). Adding more probiotic-rich foods into your diet may stop, slow, or delay the process that leads to oral conditions.
Boost the healthy germs in your body with foods that contain beneficial microbes. These probiotic foods include dairy sources such as yoghurt, kefir, cultured cottage cheese, and buttermilk and non-dairy sources like fermented vegetables (sauerkraut) and a fermented tea called kombucha. Even better, you can add in some prebiotics – plant fibre that acts like fertiliser to the probiotics. Prebiotic foods include raw Jerusalem artichokes, raw hickory root, raw oats, unrefined barley, and unrefined wheat.
You may be eating probiotics now and not even know it. To find out, check the food label for "live and active cultures". Get on board with this natural way to take care of your teeth by eating foods rich in probiotics.