From the Egg to the Apples

“From the egg to the apples” is the literal translation from the Latin “ab ovo usque ad mala” – an odd idiom from the ancient Romans based on the order of a meal – same idea as our “everything from soup to nuts”. I can remember as a kid being told to eat your apple last from your lunchbox since that was like brushing your teeth! Of course, I was also told that if you didn’t put your tongue in the space where your baby tooth fell out a gold one would grow in…so, what’s the truth?

♥ Apples contain xylitol, a sugar alcohol which stimulates saliva production – a natural defense against cavities and gum disease.

♥ Firm, crunchy fruits and veggies are a workout for your mouth and can have some positive effects in clearing away remaining food particles.

♥ Apples also contain malic acid (from the Latin for apple – malumJ) Foods high in acid can cause your tooth enamel to erode, which weakens your natural defense against cavities. Take a swish of water to clear away the acids and wait 30 min. before brushing to allow your enamel time to reharden.

♥ Recent research from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden demonstrates an association between ability to chew hard food such as apples and maintaining cognitive function.

So, the take away is…yes! Apples are a great choice for a lot of reasons, some of them even dental. BUT, it is a bit much to say they are nature’s toothbrush. Apples, like all fruit, contain sugars and acids that can damage enamel if not rinsed away. Definitely enjoy the fruits of the fall harvest, drink water afterwards, and allow 30 minutes after a meal before brushing for a full 2 minutes.