Thursday, 2 April 2015

6 Foods That Can Improve Your Smile

Most people know there are plenty of foods to avoid if they want to keep their smile bright & healthy. Here’s a refresher:
  • Pop (even diet) contains acid that weakens your enamel.
  • Dark foods like coffee, tea, red wine, soy sauce & cranberries get absorbed into your enamel, and cause stains.
  • Carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes & pasta are metabolized into sugars (from the pre-digestive enzymes in your saliva), that produces teeth-eroding acid.
  • Fruits (or worse yet….dried fruit) has a ton of natural sugar & enamel-eroding acid. Dried fruits are packed with non-soluble cellulose fiber, which effectively binds sugars onto your teeth as strongly as the stickiest taffies.
  • Juice & Sports Drinks are packed with sugar & acid.

Regular brushing & flossing still remains your best bet for keeping your teeth healthy, but there are certain foods that can help contribute to your oral health. Here's 6 that’ll improve your smile:
  • Foods high in PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids), such as Fish, Nuts & Flaxseed. These foods are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which helps prevent inflammation and protects against gum disease (the #1 cause of tooth loss).
  • Foods that increase saliva production, such as sugar-free gum. Saliva is nature’s way of washing away sugar, acid & bacteria left in your mouth; saliva also coats teeth in bone-strengthening calcium & phosphate. A good choice is sugarless mint-flavored gum sweetened with xylitol (an alcohol that reduces bacteria).
  • Water, just like saliva helps wash away sugar, acid & bacteria. It also contains fluoride, a mineral that helps protect against tooth erosion. Fluoride occurs naturally in water (including some bottled water) and tap water in #Sarnia is fortified with it. 
  • Dairy such as milk & cheese are for most people, their primary dietary source of calcium (which is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy teeth). Calcium is the primary ingredient in the mineral known as hydroxyapatite, which strengthens tooth enamel as well as bones (although teeth aren’t bones, they do share similar properties). Dairy products (especially cheese) also contain Casein, a type of protein that plays an important role in stabilizing and repairing enamel.
  • High-fiber foods like spinach, beans, carrots & brussel sprouts promote good digestion, but they also help your teeth, mostly because they require a lot of chewing. Eating spinach is like putting your teeth through a car wash. All the chewing generates plenty of saliva and the food itself actually scrubs your teeth as it’s mashed up into little pieces.
  • Strawberries contain malic acid, which also happens to be a natural enamel whitener.  Try this easy at-home whitening treatment: Crush strawberry into a pulp, mix with baking soda, spread on your teeth using a soft toothbrush….Wait 5 minutes, rinse off and voila: A whiter smile. (Be sure to floss, since the tiny strawberry seeds can easily get trapped between your teeth).

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, please consider sharing it on facebook, twitter or LinkedIn. If you’d like more information about your oral health, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Jennifer Thomm.


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