Dental Assistant

What Are “Detergent” Foods? An Overview for Students in Dental Assistant Training

March 16, 2018

woman biting apple

It’s common knowledge that certain foods, like those rich in sugar, are particularly bad for dental health. However, on the opposite end of the scale are a set of foods which do minimal damage to tooth enamel. In fact, they can actually have a cleansing effect on teeth by stimulating saliva production. This effect can undercut the negative impact of acids and starches that have adhered to teeth by helping to ‘wash’ them away.

Here’s a breakdown of how these ‘detergent foods’ can be beneficial.

What Are Some Examples of ‘Detergent Foods’ and What Role Do They Play in Dental Care?

Detergent foods can include fruit like apples and pears, vegetables like carrots and celery, and even the likes of unsweetened popcorn. Properties of detergent foods include a firm, fibre-like consistency that isn’t especially tough or abrasive. This fibrous material, once chewed, works as a kind of light scrub on the teeth, and also as a signal for the body to boost saliva production. Additional saliva will also go some way to restoring the calcium and phosphate levels in tooth enamel, which can be lost over time.

Detergent foods can thus play a useful role in dental care by removing stuck particulate matter from enamel recesses, by diluting and washing away acids, and by being less damaging to teeth. In addition, detergent foods will often have either a slightly sour taste or be particularly dry, which helps to stimulate the production of saliva even more.celery, carrots and orange pepper

The ‘detergent’ effect has been associated with several specific fruits and vegetables

When Are Detergent Foods Best Eaten According to Those With Dental Assistant Training?

Professionals with dental assistant training will know that the timing of care, such as flossing after eating, can be important in ensuring its effectiveness. In this respect, the most effective time to eat detergent foods is after eating foods that are bad for teeth, but before employing traditional techniques such as brushing and flossing. Eating detergent foods after eating particularly harmful foods (such as hard, sugary candy) is an especially effective approach.

One of the most popular scenarios when detergent foods are employed is when, in a travel or camping situation, dental care tools like toothbrushes have been forgotten. Regular use of detergent foods can help limit the damage done to tooth enamel in these scenarios.

Pros with Dental Assistant Training Know These Foods Can Form Part of a Dental Health Strategy

Students completing career training in healthcare will notice that detergent foods are often pretty healthy too. Because many fruits and vegetables act as detergent foods, they are often recommended by other healthcare professionals as part of a healthy diet.apples surrounded by dental floss

For those conscious of dental health, detergent foods represent another option in their toolkit

In addition to being good for general health as well as for healthy tooth enamel, these kinds of foods will also help combat gum disease, thus further contributing to oral health. As such, clients who incorporate detergent foods into their diet are likely to see many benefits. While no substitute for brushing and flossing, the regular consumption of detergent foods can be a wonderful addition to a client’s dental care routine.

Do you want to embark on a career that actively improves public health?

Contact us at Medix College today to learn why attending dental assistant college in Ontario could be a great move.

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