Are You Looking For a Healthy Snack That Won’t Damage Your Teeth?

Here’s a Whole List of Foods That Are Great For Building Beautiful Smiles!

We know from last week’s newsletter that the bacteria in your mouth produce acid that attacks your tooth enamel through a process called demineralization. Fortunately, your saliva is a natural deterrent to demineralization, fighting against these acids. There are also a number of foods that have equally beneficial effects.

Crunchy Vegetables:

Vegetables like celery, carrots and cucumbers help your teeth in two ways. First of all, chewing naturally produces more saliva, which offsets the acidity that comes with eating any food. Secondly, crunchy foods are more abrasive (in a good way), so they tend to scrape off plaque from your teeth as you chew. The key is to pick vegetables that are really crunchy because you have to chew more to eat them. Sunflower seeds have similar cleaning effects, and with the added benefit of calcium, an important mineral for building strong bone structures around your teeth.

Green Tea, Onions and Wasabi:

What could these three foods all have in common? These three foods provide similar benefits for your teeth; luckily, you don’t have to eat them all together to reap these rewards. Green tea, onions and isothiocyanates (the hot stuff in wasabi) are proven to kill bacteria that live in your mouth. Less bacteria means less plaque, less acid, and less tooth decay – it’s that simple! Also, green tea isn’t usually as dark as black or red teas, and so it is less likely to stain your teeth. Onions tend to have more of an effect when they are raw – that’s not great for your breath, but you can always have some fresh parsley or mint afterward. These herbs are great for neutralizing bad breath.

Anything Rich in Vitamin C:

You probably already know that vitamin C helps strengthen your immune system, but did you know that it also gives your gums the nutrients they need to stay firm and free of disease? Vitamin C deficiency can lead to a breakdown of collagen in your gums, leading to bleeding, puffiness and eventually periodontal disease and receding gums. And by the way, the highest natural concentration of vitamin C can be found in a kiwi. Oranges, broccoli, mangos, and potatoes will also do the trick.

Water, Water, Water:

Water is a critical part of everyone’s daily diet, but most people don’t drink enough, and are unaware of their constant dehydration. Water not only induces your body to create more saliva, but hydration is one of the best things you can do for healthy gums. Stay conscious of your water intake, and if you can’t brush your teeth after every meal, at least be sure to rinse with water. Rinsing dislodges food that would otherwise be stuck in your mouth creating plaque and harmful acid.

As you can see, there are a variety of good foods for your teeth, and most of them are very easily incorporated into your regular diet. Try putting some onions on your next salad or sandwich. Maybe you could swap your morning coffee for a steaming cup of green tea (you’ll still get about 60mg of caffeine, as compared to 100mg in an 8 ounce cup of coffee). Just be mindful of what you’re feeding your body and how it affects your teeth. Trust me, treat your teeth right, and they’ll stick with you for a long time!

You can get even more information about diet by visiting my office for a check-up, cleaning, or free consultation. If you’d like to schedule an appointment just click here.

Next week I’d like to touch on a topic that everyone will find especially helpful – choosing a great dentist. Just like a toothbrush, a dentist is something that has to be just right for you. My next newsletter will give you some tips about what to look for in identifying a dentist that meets your specific needs.

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