What kind of micro flora and fauna you have in your mouth can mean the difference between a mouth full of cavities and a healthy, brilliant smile. The human mouth is full of bacteria, all the time, even after brushing, as is the human intestinal tract and the surface of the skin, which produces its very own bacteria to fight off invaders. Getting the right kind of bacteria is very important though, as some bacteria, like streptococcus mutans, is only good for dissolving enamel and has absolutely no other function. Other ones, like bifidus essensis may be good for your intestines and your mouth, while still others are good if they are present in small numbers, but must not proliferate too much, because they can start to do damage.
A look at dogs
A good way to understand the complex relationship that your mouth has with bacteria is to look at man’s best friend. Dogs are definitely one of the filthiest animals alive, who gleefully eat faeces and other gross stuff, and yet never have cavities on their teeth. How is this possible? Dog saliva is probiotic in nature; it is home to a bunch of different kinds of bacterial life, some of which protect against invading forces, and keep the pooch’s mouth healthy, despite being the dirtiest thing imaginable.
Friendly oral bacteria for human uses
Although people do not make such aggressive saliva, and our diet is very different, we too can benefit from these probiotic bacteria. Eating dairy products like kefir, ayran, drinking lassi, and eating plenty of yoghurt which has the bifidus essensis bacterium in it will boost the amount of probiotic bacteria you have in your mouth. These microorganisms will then colonize your guts and your mouth, fighting off invading bacteria.
There are certain times when a little help in fighting off oral bacteria can be very useful. For instance, if you are thinking of getting dental implants, it is worth colonizing your mouth after the procedure, this way making sure that the bacteria that may have been introduced into the mouth during the procedure, or before the procedure, can survive. It is also a good idea to get some of these probiotic bacteria into the mouth before you start an orthodontic treatment, to provide a healthier and more vigorous environment for the braces. But please be aware that you will still need to brush and floss twice a day, you are still susceptible to tooth decay, and you must still go to the dentist every six months for your half year check-ups.