Are Your “Healthy” Food Choices Ruining Your Teeth?

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How green juices and fruits could be turning your smile yellow (and what to eat instead)

 

Sipping a green smoothie or munching on a low-calorie snack may well be good for our waistlines (or so we're told)... but what are they doing to our teeth? Apparently, your super-food kick could be damaging your smile - and contributing to teeth discoloration and bad oral health.

In this week’s Lehigh Valley Smile Designs blog, we’ve highlighted some of the dental dangers of a few of the most popular health foods and advised on alternatives that pose less of a threat to your teeth.


WHAT TO AVOID

 

Popcorn

Popcorn has gone from snack food to superfood and has quickly become a go-to item to embrace low-calorie snacking. However, popcorn is not quite so nice to your teeth and if you take a bite into one of those un-cracked kernels there's a high risk of breaking or cracking a tooth. It's also practically impossible not to get popcorn stuck in between your and if those tiny bits become lodged between teeth, it can lead to infection and even a rather nasty abscess.

 

Ensure you are flossing thoroughly at least 2-3 times a week to remove bacteria and dislodge trapped food. If you do not floss you are only cleaning a third of the tooth and could be at risk of tooth decay.

 

Green smoothies

With the juicing trend and NutriBullet craze in full swing, green smoothies are all the rage. However, in reality consuming large quantities doesn't do your oral health any favors. These green juices and smoothies are made by blending leafy green vegetables with fruit to sweeten the taste. The juice from fruit and vegetables, especially fruit, tend to have a high acid content which severely damages the enamel of your teeth in a similar way to fizzy drinks. 

 

Although fruit and vegetables are considered healthy acids, this is only the case when they are consumed as a whole, rather than as a concentrated juice. Fruit's natural sugar, fructose, is also a common cause of cavities as the bacteria in the mouth feed on it, so be careful when you do consume juice as part of a balanced diet. To reduce the impact, make sure you drink through a straw and try to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming a green smoothie.

 

Grapefruit

With so many celebrities endorsing this so-called healthy citrus fruit, it's hard to believe that grapefruit can actually do a lot of damage to your teeth. Just like sweets, any sour foods contain a high level of citric acid that horrifyingly has the same pH level as the acid in your stomach. The acidity from these citrus fruits causes the enamel of your teeth to erode and tooth decay can occur.

 

Acid erosion can increase teeth sensitivity and when eaten regularly, citrus fruits can contribute to the build-up of plaque and tooth decay. Many experts recommend chewing gum after consumption to rehydrate the mouth and promote the production of saliva, which will wash away the citric acid.

 

WHAT TO EAT

 

Almonds

Packed full of goodness, almonds make for the ideal tooth-friendly snack. Unlike other nuts, almonds are incredibly low in sugar and also have the highest nutritional value in terms of calcium and they are a good source of protein. Calcium helps to strengthen teeth and bones and also nourishes healthy gum tissue.

 

Feta Chees

Feta cheese is a great source of calcium and general health food for maintaining good oral hygiene. Cheese and Feta in particular has a low pH level, which helps to neutralize acid, fight plaque and prevent cavities from forming. Researchers have also found that Feta cheese makes the mouth more alkaline, which in turn can reduce the need for dental treatment.

 

Celery

Celery might not be the most flavorsome food around, but it does work miracles on your pearly whites. Like carrots and apples, celery acts like a natural toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. This in turn maintains a healthy, white smile and prevents staining. It is also a source of vitamins A and C that boost your gum's health too.

 

Green and Herbal Teas

We all know that herbal tea is good for your digestive system. However, were you aware of all the teeth and dental related benefits too? Herbal tea and in particular green tea, contains polyphenols that interact with plaque and prevent harmful bacteria from growing. This not only helps to prevent cavities, it also reduces inflammation and the chances of gum disease'.

Source: Daily Mail, WebMD

 

 

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