Your Diet Can Sabotage Your Healthy Smile!
Having our teeth regularly cleaned and checked by a dentist is something we know to be very important for oral health. Oral health also includes regular teeth and gum brushing, as well as flossing. But did you know that what we put in our mouths can have an effect on its health, as well?
Sugary foods and beverages (soda, sports drinks) have the potential to increase the decay of our teeth. These should be limited in the diet, but if you do eat or drink them, brush your teeth or rinse with water immediately after, to help remove some of the sugar on the surface.
Although packed with Vitamin C, they are highly acidic and can erode the enamel on our teeth. Again, be sure to rinse with water or brush your teeth as soon as possible, after eating.
Tea and Coffee
A staple in many of our diets, tea and coffee are responsible for the stubborn stains on our teeth. Black tea leads to more stained teeth than other teas, and coffee stains are found to be the most persistent.
Cheese & Yogurt
Both cheese and yogurt contain calcium and protein; nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.
A study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry, reported at EurekAlert!, found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects' mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay.
The probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, found in yogurt, also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. If you decide to add more yogurt to your diet, choose a plain variety with no added sugar.
Leafy greens typically find their way onto any healthy foods list. They're full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They're high in calcium, which builds your teeth's enamel. They also contain folic acid, a type of B Vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including possibly treating gum disease in pregnant women, according to MedlinePlus.
While the ADA recommends steering clear of most sweet foods, there are some exceptions. Fruits, such as apples might be sweet, but they're also high in fiber and water. The action of eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, which rinses away bacteria and food particles. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums.
Like apples, carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a handful of raw carrots at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fiber, carrots are a great source of Vitamin A.
Celery might get a bad reputation for being bland, watery and full of those pesky strings, but like carrots and apples, it acts a bit like a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It's also a good source of Vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost.
Almonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein, while being low in sugar.
These contain malic acid, and natural enamel whitener! Biting into whole strawberries, or rubbing fresh strawberry pulp on your teeth then brushing, can help you get a brighter smile!