Zombies' ghastly oral health on 'The Walking Dead'
Rick, the hero on AMC's hit TV series "The Walking Dead," is up against a whole new set of zombies in the fourth season. And, as we all know, the walking dead are the champions of repulsive oral health. After all, they've had a lifetime to perfect awful dental habits. Look at their gums. Yellow dental plaque is covering their once-lustrous chompers?, while their gumlines are as jagged and dirty as Atlanta's apocalyptic skyline in the show.
First off, the walkers maintain a horrible diet. For instance, who's feeding them rats? That's no start to the day or night. What we eat plays a large role in the health of our teeth and gums, since bacteria in the mouth convert sugars from the foods we eat into acids, which wear away dental enamel. The more sugary the foods, the more likely you are to experience tooth decay and cavities.
So, in order to fend off scary smiles, here is a list of mouth-healthy foods and drinks:
- Opt for apples, celery and other vegetables. Crunchy foods can actually dislodge stray particles between teeth, while their high water content helps wash down the sugary effects. These foods also stimulate saliva production, which rinses the mouth of acid and bacteria.
- Cheeses are a particularly beneficial option to keep your teeth looking fresh and vital. Certain cheeses, like aged cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, Gouda and American varieties, have been shown to coat the teeth, re-hardening surface enamel and combating acid erosion. In a study published in General Dentistry, this dairy product boosted pH levels. The lower the pH, the more acidic the substance, while the higher the pH (around a level of 7) is neutral and good for your teeth. Cheeses contains pyrophosphates, a chemical found in fluorides and toothpaste, which re-mineralize your pearly whites.
- Steer clear of hard candies, brains, human flesh and soft drinks. These all have been known to end poorly for your teeth and gums.
Secondly, the relentless dead walkers are the poster people for gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums, and periodontitis, an advanced-stage gum disease. Their gums have eroded past their chin, a sight that would appall both dentists and potential walking partners. The lower the gumline, the bigger the pockets that harbor anaerobic bacteria and dental plaque. Who wants to hike up and down the ruined city with someone who has a dirty mouth, and thus, bad breath? Left-over food pieces compound with our bodies' natural bacteria to create an awful odor.
Zombies are mindless of good dental health practices. Walker or not, you can avoid gum disease and bad breath by flossing once a day and brushing twice per day. It has been shown that if you floss before brushing, you stand a higher chance of developing it as a habit. This is because after we finish scrubbing our teeth, we believe our mouth to be sufficiently clean, even though we probably missed some of the interdental nooks and crannies which only thread can reach.
Focusing specifically on the gums, you can brush in small, circular motions to shed bacteria. This is will leave your gums feeling fresh and healthy.
Regular visits to your dentist are crucial for a healthy smile. It is recommended that you make an appointment about every six months. Dental professionals can examine individual teeth and the region where the gum meets the teeth in order to keep your mouth as shiny as possible. If you have any concerns, such as a receding gumline or need for a cavity treatment, your dentist will be glad to help.
Keep your mouth away from "The Walking Dead" levels; otherwise, you might find yourself endlessly wandering for friends to hang out with as well.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your health care professional before beginning any new therapy.