Pomegranates have become more popular in recent years, cropping up in numerous recipes, but they are not the easiest of fruit to eat, and eating one is best attempted when wearing old clothes as the juice will stain! However there might be good reasons for persevering with this fruit which is just coming into season, as it can provide numerous health benefits, including benefits to your oral health.
Studies have found eating the fleshy red seeds, or drinking the juice of pomegranates can help to reduce inflammation. This could be useful in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease, and it’s thought that drinking pomegranate juice could help to improve circulation, increasing the flow of oxygen to the heart and decreasing the risk of blood clots. It’s also thought that pomegranate juice has antibacterial properties and that it could help to reduce dental plaque. This could be extremely beneficial in reducing the risk of two major dental diseases which are gum disease and tooth decay.
But what is dental plaque?
If you have not brushed your teeth for a few hours then try running your tongue over the tooth surfaces, and you might be able to feel a sticky coating on your teeth. If you can then this is dental plaque, and it’s something that can develop as a result of food particles, especially foods containing sugars and starches, being left on the teeth. When this happens the bacteria naturally present in the mouth will feast on these foods, producing acid as a by-product. They’ll also rapidly multiply in number, creating that sticky film on your teeth.
If you forget to clean your teeth, or fail to brush and floss very thoroughly, then you may miss out some areas of your teeth. In this case the dental plaque will begin to harden into tartar in just a couple of days. This is a hard yellow substance that can only be removed when you have your teeth professionally cleaned at your dentist surgery. In the meantime the tartar will begin to irritate and inflame your gums, increasing the risk of gum disease, while the bacteria will attack your tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities.
Other Than Eating Pomegranates, What Is the Best Way to Prevent Plaque from Forming?
The best way is simply to brush your teeth twice a day and to floss once a day. You’ll also need to attend regular check-ups at your dentist, and book regular hygiene appointments every six months to have any tartar removed. It’s also a great idea to ask your hygienist how you can improve your brushing and flossing techniques, as most of us tend to stick to the way we were taught to brush as children, and over the years this technique can often use a little help.
Most people do not enjoy flossing, but using the correct techniques can help to make it a lot easier and more effective and it really only takes a couple of minutes to do it properly. If you really can’t face the thought of flossing then try one of the alternative tools on the market. These include interdental brushes and soft rubber picks that can be purchased from your local supermarket or chemist, or you might want to invest in a water flosser that actually shoots pressurised water in between your teeth, a process that can often be a little messy to start until you get the hang of missing your bathroom mirror, but which can be very effective.