It is easy to whiten your teeth safely and effectively through using a great home whitening kit, but white teeth are no good unless they are healthy, and what you eat can make a real difference.
Diet and Its Effect on Your Teeth
Keeping an eye on what you eat will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums. As soon as you eat something it creates changes in your mouth as the bacteria naturally present will soon get to work on any leftover sugars and carbohydrates. One of the huge problems with this is that the bacteria produce acid that begins to attack your tooth enamel, softening it and increasing the risk of decay. If you follow a diet that incorporates a lot of snacks, then you may be even more at risk as your mouth will be more or less continuously acidic. Whenever you do eat something, it takes around half an hour to an hour for the acidity levels in your mouth to return to normal.
Tooth Friendly Foods and Drinks
The best foods to keep your teeth healthy and strong are foods that include plenty of calcium and phosphorus as these provide the building blocks necessary to help your teeth remineralise, a process that occurs naturally as your mouth becomes less acidic. Remineralisation allows the essential minerals to be redeposited into your tooth enamel, helping to reverse some of the damage caused by the acid.
Foods that are particularly tooth friendly include cheese, chicken, milk, nuts and other meats. Firm and crunchy fruits and vegetables such as carrots and apples and pears are also good choices. One of the reasons for this is that they have a high water content, and even though they contain some natural sugars the effects are diluted. Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables also helps to stimulate the flow of saliva, washing away excess bacteria and food, and diluting the acid in the mouth.
The most tooth friendly drinks for your teeth include plain water, especially if it’s fluoridated, unsweetened tea as this can have a protective effect against the bacteria in your mouth, and good old milk.
Unfriendly Foods and Drinks for Your Teeth
You probably already know the least tooth friendly foods, as they include chocolates, sweets, cakes, biscuits and crisps, but you might not be aware of the damage that could be done to teeth through eating dried fruits such as raisins. Dried fruit is often thought of as being healthy, but it does have a nasty tendency to stick to the teeth for a very long time, and it’s also quite high in sugar. Drinks to avoid include high energy drinks, and anything containing sugar or citric acids, and this includes low-calorie soft drinks.
So what can you do if you want something sweet? Luckily there are plenty of sugar-free products on the market today, and these tend to contain sugar substitutes that won’t to feed the bacteria in your mouth. These include foods that contain sorbitol, saccharine and aspartame. However it’s worth reading the label as sometimes sugar-free foods will contain natural sugars that can be just as bad for your teeth. These include ingredients such as fructose or sucrose.
It’s impossible to avoid everything that is bad for your teeth, but making sure you don’t snack on these foods in between meals, and that they’re incorporated as part of a healthy diet will help to minimise any damage. Making sure you clean your teeth after such meals, or at least twice a day and that you floss once a day will help keep your teeth as healthy and white as possible.