You know how it is said that pregnant women suddenly get many memories from their own childhood? I can confirm that, I get a lot of those. Oh, and yes, I’m pregnant.
I recently remembered a day at school when we had a one-time dental hygiene class where someone spoke to us about the proper way of taking care of our teeth. This might have been still in the Soviet Estonia or the early years of the Republic of Estonia, so many of the tricks that were taught to us would nowadays be very hip and get called DIY. Back then dental floss or xylitol chewing gum were not something you could just go and buy in the store. We didn’t have these things in the Soviet Estonia, and when they finally became available, they were too expensive for most people.
Capron thread and cheese
So I remember these two DIY dental hygiene tricks that were taught to us. The first one was capron thread which could allegedly be used instead of dental floss, and the other one was eating cheese after meals to clean your teeth. I had totally forgotten about the cheese trick, but now it suddenly seems like a good idea to use with O. after lunch when he goes to take his nap without brushing teeth.
The benefits of brushing the teeth of a two-year-old are doubtful anyway with him trying to bite the toothbrush all the time or talk about the oompa loompas in his mouth. What are oompa loompas? Well, these are the guys who live in the mouth and whom we are trying to drive out of the there by brushing. At least this is what S. told him. They have this tooth brushing song which would translate into “Oompa loompas, go home!”
Cheese as teeth cleaner
Of course I also consulted with my friend the Internet whether my memory serves me right. And indeed, the alkali contained in cheese help combat the acid erosion that takes place in our mouths after eating1 balancing the pH.
So just eat a piece of cheese after a meal, and you’ve done a really good thing for your teeth. Unless you’re planning to substitute it for brushing. That would not be a good idea.
Also bear in mind that it has to be yellow cheese (like cheddar) and not soft white cheese (like brie or feta).1
Seems the French who consider cheese to be dessert have been in on this secret for ages. Me and O. are now trying to do the same – to have a piece of cheddar as a kind of dessert to finish off our lunch. Sounds easier and healthier than buying chewing gum that’s made of who-knows-what, doesn’t it?
1 Vida Kolahi, as told to Laura Barnett, The inside track… eating cheese can help your teeth. The Guardian