Useful Tips for a Healthy Smile-Things to Know

When it comes to a great looking smile, one of the best (not the easiest mind you) thing you can do is to limit snacking. Beyond adding calories to your diet, snacking interrupts the flow of saliva meant to cleanse the mouth and teeth to remove cavity-producing substances. Constant snacking continually exposes your teeth to substances that erode enamel, which is why experts suggest you limit eating to three meals a day. If you do snack, choose a food that’s healthier, as these are less likely to cause tooth decay. To ensure your smile always looks its best, here are seven things to add to your diet:read here

Water is the most natural, calorie free thirst quencher around, and helps to wash acid producing foods from the teeth and mouth. Sugar free drinks are ideal if you like something with a bit more taste. These also serve to wash the acid producing food from the mouth. Sugar free gum increases the flow of saliva, this helps to neutralize acids in the mouth and thus protect the enamel of the teeth. This is a great choice when you’re craving something sweet, but are watching your calorie intake. Citrus fruit though acidic also increases the flow of saliva. Oranges, grapefruits and other such fruits offer protection to enamel because they contain a lot of water that washes away food and acids.

Cheese and milk not only encourage saliva production, the proteins in these foods also act as a buffer against acids so the enamel of the tooth is protected from erosion. There are studies that suggest these foods might possibly strengthen the protective minerals found in the surface of your teeth. Fish and flax are thought to reduce inflammation and offer protection against gum disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are the most potent anti-inflammatory nutrients, and people who eat a lot of them are more resistant to both inflammation and infection, perhaps gum disease as well. Cocoa has substances that keep inflammation in check and might also help protect teeth against erosion and decay. Dark chocolate is lower in sugar than the milk chocolate variety. And chocolate milk, which does have some sugar, does not appear to up the risk of cavities.

Now that you’ve seen what to add, here are some things to avoid…

Sugary drinks: When the bacteria in the mouth break down simple sugars they produce acids that can erode enamel and create pits where cavities form. Because we sip them, these drinks raise acid levels over a long period of time. Carbonated drinks are especially bad, as the carbonation ups acidity. Some research has singled out sports drinks as the worst offenders.

Candy and sweetened snacks: No surprise here since most of these are loaded with sugar that increases acid levels in the mouth. Sticky and gummy candies are the most destructive choice of all because they adhere to the tooth surface, making it hard for saliva to clean the teeth.

Sugary breakfast foods: These have a mix of sugar and starch, more likely to get stuck in the plaque between teeth. Ready to eat breakfast cereal, pastries and many processed (though highly convenient) breakfast foods are best avoided if you want to maintain a healthy smile.

Some starches: Breads, pasta, rice and potatoes raise the destructive acid levels in the mouth. The more refined (or cooked) a starch is, the more likely it will raise acid levels. Raw starches don’t endanger tooth enamel.

Coffee, tea and red wine: Beyond the fact that these beverage tend to stain the tooth surface, these drinks are typically sipped, allowing the acid levels in the mouth to remain high over a much longer period of time. So, by following these natural teeth whitening tips you can have a bright and healthy smile with minimum intervention and cost.