This Valentine’s Day, maybe you were thinking of treating your loved one to some special foods that will help you to get in the mood for love. However, you may think twice when you discover how these edible aphrodisiacs affect your dental health.
It’s a classic when paired with candlelight and slow dancing. The smell of red wine actually gets women in the mood because it imitates the scent of male pheromones.
But how is it for your dental health? Well, the colour red will actually stain the enamel of your teeth. However, it is the tannins in red wine that is the real culprit. Tannins are acidic polyphenols that cause staining and discolouration, and the acidity changes the pH balance in your mouth, causing damage to the enamel of your teeth.
The verdict: although red wine is good for a night of romance, it may not be so great come the morning when you look in the mirror and find darker teeth.
The partner of wine to double the fun. Cheese contains Arginine, an amino acid that synthesises nitric oxide which increases blood flow. For women, this will reduce vaginal dryness and actually stimulate your vagina.
For your teeth, cheese is quite different to red wine. Cheese is in the category of dairy products that contain lactic acid which helps prevent tooth decay and calcium for stronger and healthier enamel and gums. The texture of hard cheese is helpful in cleaning your teeth by stimulating salivary flow.
The verdict: you can keep the cheese board on the table!
The old faithful of a box of chocolates. Chocolate contains anandamide (the “feel-good chemical”) and phenylethylamine (the “love chemical”). Both release dopamine in the pleasure centres of the brain, and dopamine levels peak during orgasm.
Unfortunately, chocolate is the well-known bane of dentists. The sugar in chocolate sticks easily to teeth and can lead to cavities. But there is good news: chocolate does wash off your teeth relatively easily (it dissolves in your mouth and can be removed with a bit of brushing). Dark chocolate has the added bonus of containing less sugar than milk or white chocolate.
The verdict: this sweet can keep if you brush your teeth.
Known as the ancient aphrodisiac, oysters contain zinc which increases testosterone and sperm production in men. It also produces dopamine which, in turn, increases your libido.
That zinc also helps fight against the growth of bacteria and plaque in your mouth, preventing tooth decay and gum disease. On top of that, oysters also contain calcium which, like cheese, adds to the strength of your teeth.
The verdict: oysters are an oh yes from dentists.
Look, it’s more than just the shape. Bananas are a main source of potassium (Vitamin K) which is important to the production of sex hormones. They also contain Vitamin B which sustains energy levels (for a longer stamina in the bedroom). Happily, both Vitamins K and B are good for your oral health.
Potassium blocks certain substances that promote the breakdown of bones, so it guards against weakening of supporting bone structures like the jaw. Vitamin K is also essential to blood clotting so if your gums bleed or you experience an oral trauma, the blood will clot quicker and your mouth will heal more effectively. Vitamin B (but especially niacin and riboflavin) are great for preventing mouth sores and oral inflammation.
The verdict: bananas are great for the bedroom and bathroom.
This is quite a surprising entry in this list. Celery is often associated with diets and fitness but did you know that it contains androsterone (an odourless hormone released through men’s perspiration)? It’s a male pheromone that arouses women.
And when it comes to your teeth? Celery is a fibrous cellulose which has high water content that stimulates saliva production and acts as a natural mouthwash.
The verdict: celery is great, not merely because it’s low on calories.
This is also a pretty ancient aphrodisiac, used even in Aztec times. The scent of avocado has been known to arouse women. Its natural fatty acids also help improve stamina.
The good old avocado contains potassium and vitamin E. As mentioned before, potassium is great for bone strengthening and blood clotting. Vitamin E has been linked to the prevention of periodontal disease by: decreasing oral inflammation and acting as an antioxidant.
The verdict: have an avo!
So this Valentine’s Day, when you’re getting in the mood for love, we hope you’ll love your teeth as well and treat them to some healthy foods and drinks.