Eat Your Way to a Healthier Smile
The best of foods and the worst of foods
By Michelle Ochsner
Beige: an interior designer’s best friend. The color blends well, brightens up a room, and goes by many names. Looking at yourself in the mirror, dismay chastises as you realize that it doesn’t matter what name the dull yellowish color goes by. It’s not the color you want your teeth to be.
Managing healthy white teeth is easier than one might think. Along with bi-annual dental appointments, a beautiful smile starts at home with a cleaning regiment and the food one eats. Certain foods help prevent tooth decay by providing necessary minerals needed to protect tooth enamel.
Foods like cheese, yogurt, dark leafy greens, and nuts are high in calcium and phosphorus that remineralize teeth. This process will deposit minerals and strengthens tooth enamel, which protects teeth from breakage. If enamel becomes weak, cracks, or breaks the body cannot repair it since there are no living cells. Once enamel breaks, erosion begins and off to the dentist we go.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables high in fiber neutralize acids and break up bacteria that stain and decay teeth. Apples and Pears not only stimulate your gums, these fruits have high water content and trigger saliva flow that washes away excess food after meals.
Snacking on celery removes unsightly stains as you chew it because it brushes your teeth naturally and prevents plaque buildup. When you’ve got the munchies, get something crunchy straight out of the garden.
Acidic foods such as lemons, tomatoes, citrus drinks, and carbonated beverages can cause extensive damage to your enamel. Hard candy, breads, potato chips, and french fries are highly corrosive foods that damage and dull teeth. These carbs metabolize into sugar and stick to your teeth than fuels caustic bacteria under the gum line that stain and cause tooth decay.
Eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates with meals will cause less damage to teeth as saliva production will better wash staining agents and bacteria away. Sugary, acidic, and starchy foods tend to stick to teeth which provoke the growth of plaque. The more plaque buildup the less chance of having a healthy white smile.
Brush right after snacking to prevent tooth decay. If brushing is not possible, rinse well with water to stimulate saliva and chew sugarless gum that has Xylitol. This will hinder cavity causing bacteria and will give you lasting fresh breath.