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Eat This, Not That For Your Teeth

Earlier this week I wrote about foods that are bad for your teeth and I thought that I could give some suggestions of common substitutions for popular foods.

  • Eat Fresh Fruit Instead of Dried Fruit for a snack – There are a lot of good reasons to have dried fruit — sometimes fresh fruit is hard to carry, especially if you are out camping or on the go. However, if you are at home or running simple errands, having a piece of fresh fruit — preferably not from the citrus family due to the acids. Many fresh fruits are fibrous and actually have a cleaning quality to them that can help prevent the build up of plaque on your teeth. Be careful of apples however, as there is evidence that apples can damage your teeth due to the method of eating them. The sugars and acids are given more exposure time with your teeth. If you have apples or related fruits, cut them up and rinse your mouth out with water afterwards.
  • Drink Water Instead of Soda and Sports and Energy Drinks – Soda is bad for you. There is no getting around it. Water is the building block of life and has numerous restorative and cleansing properties. It also helps keep the pH balance in your mouth and rinses away residual sugars, acids, and other particulates that may damage your teeth. The same goes for Sports and Energy Drinks. They contain viscous fluids that can stick to your teeth, causing erosion and soften your enamel and dentine, making you prone to tooth decay .
  • Drink Tea Instead of Coffee – Fun fact – coffee is the official national non-alcoholic drink of the United States as declared by the First Continental Congress. Over half of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee everyday, specialty coffee is an $18 billion dollar business, and most people in the US who are coffee drinkers add cream or sugar to their coffee! On average, 400 million cups of coffee are drunk each day. So, what is so bad about coffee? It stains your teeth and has a fairly high acidity. Tea, on the other hand, has a number of benefits for your teeth. Black and Green Tea contains polyphenols which inhibit the growth of the bacteria that cause tartar and tooth decay. It also has less caffeine, so it is a good way to titrate down from coffee, especially if you are trying to cut back without the headaches that come from caffeine withdrawal. The compounds in tea may also loosen plaque and reduce bad breath.
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    healthy teeth foods
    Some foods are better for your teeth than others.

  • Try Sugarless Gum Instead of Candy – We all love candy, but we also know it’s bad for your teeth. Dentists have been promoting the chewing of sugarless gum for years because of its salivary stimulating effects which neutralize the bacteria that cause plaque. Also, with a variety of flavors, you are sure to find something that satisfies your cravings.
  • For Dessert, Try Cheese – next time you go out to dinner at a restaurant that offers a cheese plate for desert, or are at home and want to try something new, try having cheese for desert. Like other dairy products, cheese has acid neutralizing effects that reduce the acidity of your mouth and contains compounds that can help repair damage done by the food you ate previously. The calcium in cheeses are also great for your jaw and the rest of your bones as well.
  • Drink Milk Instead of Fruit Juice – Have a glass of dairy (or almond) milk instead of fruit juice with breakfast. Milks are basic and can reduce the acidity of your mouth. Some studies show dairy milk can also be tied to weight loss; however, the calcium in milk and milk substitutes can help keep your teeth strong and improve your overall health.


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