There’s no doubt about it, everyone wants a whiter smile. Whiter teeth look healthier, dazzle in photos and on screen, and help raise your self esteem. Nobody wants teeth that are yellow or coffee-stained. Of course, there are a variety of toothpastes and mouthwashes that all promise us a whiter smile.
A trip to the dentist and proper brushing techniques help promote a healthy white smile, but you can also get a whiter smile by eating the right foods. By following a healthy diet and avoiding certain snacks, you can start having a healthy mouth, too.
Avoid sugar and candy
Naturally, avoiding sugary snacks and candy should be a given. Not only is it not healthy for your body, but sugar can also wreak havoc on your teeth. Sugar will increase acidity levels from the bacteria in your mouth. The sugar from soda will also encourage bacteria in your mouth to break down, increasing the release of acid that can weaken the enamel on your teeth and produce cavities. Candy that is sticky or gummy will stick to your teeth, making it hard for saliva to clean it away.
Drink more water
Water is healthy for your body and your smile. When you drink water, it helps wash away any acid-producing foods in your mouth. If you don’t have time to brush your teeth, a quick swish of water can help wash away that excess food. Always try to choose water over soda or other sugary drinks.
Add cheese and milk to your diet
Since childhood, you have always been told to drink your milk. Drinking milk also helps promote proper dental health. Both cheese and milk protect the enamel on teeth and help keep cavities at bay. They also encourage more production of saliva, which can help neutralize the acidity levels in your mouth. Not only do they neutralize acid, but cheese and milk also act as a buffer, protecting tooth enamel from erosion.
Sugar-free chewing gum: Not a bad habit after all
Do you like to chew gum? As long as it is sugar-free, it’s not a bad habit. Chewing gum increases saliva production in your mouth, which neutralizes acid and protects enamel. When there is more saliva in your mouth, it helps wash out food to avoid contact with your teeth. If you have a craving for a snack or something sweet, sugar-free gum is a healthy substitute.
Maintaining a whiter smile with your diet can be very simple when you follow the right steps. By simply eating healthier foods, adding dairy products, avoiding sugar and brushing daily, you can have a whiter and brighter smile. There’s nothing like that sense of confidence when you smile and show off those pearly whites!
About the author:
Dr. Joseph Zelig, D.D.S., is a Board Certified Periodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. A practicing periodontist, speaker and educator, Dr. Zelig is currently practicing at Smile in the City (http://www.smileinthecity.com/) located in Manhattan, New York.