When we hear the word, “microbiome”, most of us think about our gut health, and while our gut is a major part of our microbiome, it’s not all the microbiome encompasses. Our microbiome actually includes every single part of our body from our head to our toes. We have different types of bacteria in our microbiome parts, depending on which area of the body we’re referring to. Our feet have different types than our hands, and our oral cavities have different types than our gut region(s). While some of them may be overlapping, most of the bacteria species that live in these areas are unique to that body location and how they can support (or harm) that area.
This explains why we get tooth decay; bad bacteria have taken over and it’s time to bring in our best efforts to improve the health of our teeth and other parts of our mouth. Chronic bad breath is another common sign that bad bacteria have taken over our mouths. Toothpaste and mouthwash may cover up the symptoms, but they don’t cure the problem. While it’s important to choose natural dental products to reduce your risks to unnecessary chemicals, that’s not all you can do to fully support the health of your mouth’s microbiome.
With that being said, we’d like to introduce you to some fascinating ways that kefir supports the health of our teeth and the entire oral microbiome! Yes, that’s right; kefir can actually improve and support the health of the mouth, not just the gut area. Kefir’s unique subset of probiotic cultures, which include 12 types of amazing good-for-you bacteria in Lifeway Kefir, all support an ongoing healthy mouth. Here are some ways it does just that!
1. Fermented Dairy Directly Benefits Influences the Microbiome of the Mouth
The specific beneficial bacteria in fermented dairy products, including kefir, probiotic cheese (such as our Farmer Cheese!), probiotic yogurts, and various fermented milk products, all support the health of the microbiome in the mouth by reducing bad bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, gingivitis, and more. Even two to four weeks after consumption of these products ceased, the bacteria were still reduced and the benefits were ongoing. Another study shows that these beneficial types of bacteria in fermented dairy products, such as kefir, directly support a healthy oral microbiome in children.
Lifeway Kefir’s 12 unique probiotic species all improve the state of the microbiome by strengthening it on an ongoing basis. So add a cup of kefir to your smoothie, overnight oats, drizzle it over oatmeal, drink it like you would any protein shake post-workout, or use it as a healthy salad dressing option in replacement to buttermilk (it makes a great ranch dressing!). Your mouth and entire microbiome will thank you!
2. Better Bacteria in the Mouth Can Improve Not Just Your Breath, but Even Your Digestion
These beneficial bacteria in fermented dairy are a great thing to incorporate into your diet for more than just you think; while they can reduce bad breath, a healthier mouth (and teeth) can even improve your digestion. Think about it; your digestive tract starts in your mouth, and the digestive process actually begins when you chew. When we chew, our saliva breaks down sugars and starches from all types of foods (fruits, dairy, whole grains, vegetables) and creates many digestive enzymes, including amylase, to break down these sugars for the beginning of digestion so they can be used for energy and more. A healthier mouth means you naturally reduce bad bacteria that can be swallowed or transferred into the digestive process during eating. We don’t want to be swallowing any of the bad guys with our next meal or snack, right? So while brushing your teeth might help get rid of the visible bacteria and bad breath, it can’t improve the state of your mouth’s microbiome makeup like fermented products, including dairy, can.
3. Our Favorite Oral-Friendly Recipes for Optimal Dental Health!
We all know excessive amounts of refined/highly processed sugar creates cavities, so we’ve rounded up some of our favorite healthy recipes to start using Lifeway Kefir for a healthier mouth today. Try some of our favorites!
- Watermelon Peach Sorbet
- Blueberry Pecan Overnight Oats
- Tropical Cantaloupe Bowls
- Blueberry Peach Rice Cakes
- Strawberry Avocado Toast
- Avocado Toasts
Or, see more recipes with Lifeway Products here!
Pick up one of our 32-ounce kefir bottles or smaller 8-ounce serving kefir bottles (great for meals on the run or post-workout shakes!). Kids also love our Probugs pouches, which are very low in sugar and full of nutrition that make great lunchbox snacks. Plus, we think they’re pretty fun to teach kids the benefits of having “good bugs” early on!
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