March 5, 2015 by Amanda Duffy
We’re all aware of the obvious bad candidates that are not so good for our teeth: the fizzy, sugary, sticky kind of food and drinks that provide a haven for bacteria to hold on to, feed off and produce teeth-eroding acid that leads to decay.
However, hidden dangers lurk everywhere and you may be surprised to find that just because something is good for you, it does not necessarily follow that it is good for your teeth. This doesn’t mean you should avoid these items, but just be aware of the hidden hazards, so you can take appropriate steps to limit any damage.
Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes. Rich in vitamin C they maintain collagen which is essential for healthy skin and gums. The problem is that citrus is very acidic, and acid erodes tooth enamel – which won’t grow back. If you are eating citrus foods and/or drinking citrus fruit drinks throughout the day, your enamel will be under constant attack.
Dried fruit is a healthier option than candy for snacking on, giving your body vitamins and anti-oxidants that confectionery just does not. However, all fruit contains natural sugars, and once the water has been expunged, what’s left is highly concentrated with sugar, which is sticky and clings to teeth, trapping those acid-producing bacteria.
You may wonder how bread can be bad for your teeth, but white bread, in particular, as well as potatoes and pasta are all starchy, and the particles are easily lodged in crevices and between teeth. Once you start chewing on them the enzymes in your saliva breakdown the starches and they begin to convert to sugar almost immediately, providing a haven for bacteria.
Nuts are high in healthy fats, proteins and vitamin E, but some whole nuts, particularly almonds, are incredibly hard, and could lead to a fractured tooth if you bite down too hard on them.
CHEWABLE VITAMINS AND SPORTS DRINKS
Chewable vitamins contain concentrated acid that tends to cling to teeth and sports drinks are also extremely acidic, as well as being full of sugar.
- Use a straw when drinking sugary or acidic drinks and aim toward the back of the mouth.
- Use water as a mouthwash to clear sugar and acids after drinking or eating.
- Brush teeth after consuming sugary or acidic foods, but rinse with water first and wait 20 minutes. Acid softens teeth enamel so you must allow time for your saliva to re-mineralize teeth or brushing could cause further damage.
- Eat cheese. It is high in calcium (which is good for strong teeth) and it can help to neutralize harmful acids.
- Eat sliced nuts instead of whole nuts, especially in the case of almonds.
- Chew on sugar-free gum containing xylitol. This helps to neutralize acids as well as encouraging saliva production which contains proteins and minerals to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, as well as fighting germs and preventing bad breath.
Categories: Dental Health |
January 14, 2015 by Neil Walker
Photo Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/macrj/
A bright, white smile can make you appear more attractive and younger. In fact, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that 96% of people who responded to their survey think a good-looking smile makes people more appealing.
However, a beautiful smile goes beyond esthetics and researchers are just beginning to discover that the state of your teeth and gums may have an impact on your overall health. Follow these steps for a better smile, and to keep your overall health in check.
1 Brush Regularly
There is no getting away from it, brushing regularly is the foundation of good dental hygiene. Proper brushing removes food particles that bacteria feed on preventing cavities and gum disease, cleans teeth and freshens breath. Fluoride toothpaste also helps to strengthen teeth.
You must brush for at least two minutes, and if you have an electric toothbrush many of these have a built in timer so you know exactly how long to brush for.
2 Floss daily
Flossing reaches the places in your mouth your toothbrush can’t – in between your teeth and under the gum line – and removes bacteria and food particles. You should make flossing part of your dental care routine and do it twice daily, along with brushing your teeth.
The most important time to floss is before bedtime as you produce less saliva when you sleep, leaving your teeth and gums susceptible to bacteria.
3 Visit the dentist regularly
You should attend every 6 months for a check-up and a thorough professional clean. If you are prone to gum disease or cavities you should make this every 3 or 4 months.
Regular visits to the dentist ensures any small problems will be spotted early so they can be treated before they become big problems – saving you pain, hassle and money.
4 Watch your diet
Certain foods are not good for your dental health, including sugars and acids, contained in fizzy drinks, fruits and confectionary, among other things. You would be wise to limit these type of foods and to include calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, sardines and kale in your diet which are good for maintaining healthy teeth and strong bones.
5 Avoid Tobacco
Smokers are up to 11 times more likely than non-smokers to have gum disease, according to the New York Times, and tobacco products, whether smoked or smokeless also increases the risk of cancers in the mouth.
6 Get your Dental Care Abroad.
Many people have found that by traveling abroad they can save between 60 and 80%, have a great holiday and return home with the smile they’ve always wanted. Although getting dental care abroad is not necessarily about having a holiday. Dental patients who live near a border, or business people who travel abroad regularly, think nothing of having their dental care abroad as it is far cheaper, and in a lot of cases of much better quality.
People are traveling abroad for big procedures which may be necessary, such as root canals and for cosmetic dentistry procedures which can make a huge difference to their smile in the minimum amount of time. Teeth whitening and dental veneers are among the quick-fix procedures that can be done in a matter of hours with outstanding results, although the cost may be off-putting as they are not generally covered by insurance.
It is worth bearing in mind that you should always use a reliable dentist and should book through providers such as Dental Departures who have around 2,500 quality-checked dentists in over 30 countries. Their experience has helped put together thousands of patients with overseas dentists for all types of dental care and they can certainly help you achieve a better smile. Start searching, using Dental Departures today.
Categories: Dental Health |