While we all know that the key to a healthy smile is flossing and brushing our teeth daily, there are many foods that are not only good for our body, but good for our teeth as well. Stock up on these foods this year and get ready to see some major results:
Strawberries– they contain malic acid, which whitens teeth naturally. Mashing strawberries with baking soda can be even more effective.
Apples, celery, and carrots– these fruits and veggies increase saliva production, which cleans teeth naturally, and they kill bacteria while the crunch and high fiber scrub your teeth.
Yogurt, milk, and hard cheeses– dairy products contain lactic acid that prevents tooth decay while their protein binds your teeth against acid damage.
Leafy greens- greens like spinach and kale contain tons of calcium, which helps build strong enamel.
Water- water washes away foods and drinks that might otherwise stain your teeth- swish some around your mouth after you eat or drink.
Paired with regular brushing, flossing, and dental appointments, eating these affordable and healthy foods can help you see a dramatic improvement in your dental health. Just snacking on apples and celery, or throwing some spinach into a salad or a smoothie can strengthen your teeth while nourishing your body. There are, however, some foods that can damage your smile if they aren’t consumed in moderation!
Citrus fruits- while fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are good for your body, they may damage your teeth. All of these fruits are very acidic and can really wear down your enamel.
Chewy and hard candies- when you chew sticky candy, it tends to stick between your teeth and stay there for a long time, allowing bacteria to eat the sugar left on your teeth. The bacteria then deposit an acid that wears away at your enamel. With hard candies, while they don’t stick to your teeth, are in your mouth for an extended period of time, giving bacteria plenty of time to make that same acid produced when they eat sugar. Hard candies can also chip your teeth.
Pickles- Because vinegar (acid) is needed to make pickles, eating too many of them can wear away the enamel on your teeth, too. Eating them more than once a day can increase wear by about 85%!
Soda- this one is a no-brainer. While the sugar in soda is no help, the acid in carbonated drinks can be even more harmful. Even sodas without sugar are flavored with citric and phosphoric acid.
Wine- red wine contains chromogens that make teeth-staining pigments. It also contains tannin that make your mouth dry and sticky, making the wine stay on your teeth for a longer time. It’s not just red wine either- white wine contains acids that allow other staining foods and drinks to penetrate your teeth more easily.
Coffee and black tea- Did you know that coffee stained teeth hold onto the stain more persistently than tobacco stained teeth? Coffee stains are quite resistant to brushing, and coffee is also sticky, attracting more bacteria. Black tea is just as bad- like wine, tea has tannin that stains your teeth.
While it is still possible to eat these foods, it’s important that you consume them in moderation and it’s even more important that you brush and floss your teeth after consuming them. Go into 2018 with a healthy body and a beautiful smile!