Health

Guest Post: Best and Worst Foods for Whiter Teeth

We all love having pretty pearly whites! Today I have Cait sharing some of the best an worst foods to get whiter teeth!

Brush twice a day, floss often, use mouthwash…and eat? The secret to healthy teeth for life might be in the refrigerator. Certain foods can help prevent cavities and tooth decay, keep plaque (sticky bacteria filled-film that can cover the teeth and gums) at bay, and even freshen breath. Read on to learn how to impress the dentist by incorporating tooth-friendly foods into every meal.

 

The Best Foods:

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Dark Leafy Greens

Looking for vegetarian-friendly sources for the minerals we’ve mentioned? Broccoli, bok choy, kale, okra, collards, and other dark, leafy veggies are excellent animal-free ways to get plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Crunchy Veggies

Just like the rest of your body, teeth require a little work every now and then to stay sharp. Crunchy, firm foods that contain lots of water (and require lots of chewing) are good for oral health because they stimulate the flow of saliva and can actually scrub tooth surfaces, brightening your pearly whites.  Saliva also contains enzymes that buffer the acids present in food and clean bits of food out of nooks and crannies.

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Celery is almost always a good dietary choice. Full of water and fibrous strands, this raw veggie is basically nature’s floss.

Apples

Apples and other high-fiber fruits can scrub away plaque and freshen breath (so hit up the produce stand before heading to a hot date) ! They also help get the gunk out of those back teeth that can stuck! Plus apples help your immune system too!

 

Vegan Foods to Avoid:

Lime, Lemons, Oranges, and Grapefruit

It’s no surprise that citrus is loaded with citric acid.  Strong acids (foods with a low pH rating) are the number-one cause of enamel erosion and tooth decay.

But if you just can’t go without a glass of Florida O.J. in the morning, minimize your acid exposure by drinking the juice in one sitting (a.k.a. not sipping for hours) and then avoiding other acidic foods and drinks for several hours. And keep in mind: If a food or drink easily stains the teeth (we’re looking at you, coffee and red wine), it’s usually fairly acidic.

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Pickles

What happens when you mix veggies and vinegar? If you guessed a tooth’s worst nightmare, you’d be right. Pickles are tasty on a sandwich, but the combination of super-acidic vinegar and sugar is a recipe for enamel erosion.

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Coffee

Sorry, coffee addicts. Not so surprisingly, that morning cup (or three) of Joe puts oral health at risk. The tannic acids in coffee (and some teas) wear down enamel and can even stain teeth brown.  But if you refuse to give up your brew, take heart: Coffee does have several health benefits so just be mindful friends!

Candy

Remember how Mom cautioned against a sugar binge on Halloween? Guilty!  Turns out, she was right: Chowing down on tons of sugar is bad for tooth health. The sweet stuff can cause cavities and get stuck in crevices (becoming tasty fodder for bacteria).

Hard candies are particularly bad for your pearly whites. Lollipops, mints, and any other sugary treats (even cough drops) that linger in the mouth expose teeth to sugar and acids for a long period of time. They’re much worse than a sugary treat that’s quickly chewed and swallowed so think about the next time you grab for your favorite quick treat!

Dried Fruit

Though yummy in granola or energy bars, dried fruit is a perfect storm of stickiness and chewiness. The gooey bits are practically made for getting stuck between teeth, and most dried fruits (even those without added sugars) are off-the-charts! As much as I love dried fruit, I always double think how many I may be eating before I  grab a huge handful.

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Image: Glow Dental Spa

Now that you know what’s good and bad for healthy white teeth, you also want to make sure to visit your local dentist to keep your pearly whites staying as good as can be. If you live in the NJ area, you have to go see Dr. Behshad Ahkami and his team at Glow Dental Spa. Dr. Ahkami is highly regarding by his patients and peers for his dental skills and aesthetic appreciation. His philosophy is based upon recognizing that each patient has individual needs and expectations. He ensures that each patient will approach their treatment plan with a full understanding of the procedures, a full understanding of options available and a realistic expectation of their results.

Dr. Ahkami is highly trained in cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, implants, root canals, and all other phases of dentistry. Dr. Ahkami is also Board Certified by the State of NJ in Botox and all dermal fillers which is an adjunct in his dental practice. This achievement makes Dr Ahkami a true artist when it comes to an overall appearance of a patient’s face.

 

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