Well Being

Chia Seed Toothpaste? Ancient Grains Entering Oral Care

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Ancient grains like chia and quinoa are showing up in toothpaste and other oral care products. It's easy to write this off as trendy nonsense, but some whole grains do have oral health benefits. Chia, for instance, contains silica and calcium to fortify teeth. Quinoa helps maintain healthy teeth (and bones) thanks to its high potassium, zinc and calcium content.

In a 2006 study of 34,000 men, those who ate three servings a day of brown rice, dark breads, popcorn and other whole grains were 23% less likely to develop periodontitis than those who said they ate less than one daily serving of whole grains.

“Whole grain intake improves glucose metabolism, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose,” Anwar Merchant said at the time. “Lower blood glucose levels are reported to reduce the risk of periodontitis in diabetics. Lower blood glucose levels—resulting from consuming whole grains—may reduce the risk of periodontitis in non-diabetics as well.”

There aren't many whole grain teeth care products on the market yet, but in the meantime, a diet high in whole grains will be good for teeth, too.