21 Jul 5 different lifestyle tips for healthy body and health teeth
Learning about the healthy food pyramid is part of basic school education these days. And anyone who has visited a dentist knows the basic steps that are recommended to keep your teeth healthy in the long term – brushing twice daily, flossing daily as well as 6 monthly professional check ups and cleans with your dentist.
So let’s talk about a few different things that you may not know – a few small daily health tips to ensure you make the most of your smile.
Our adult teeth are the last set that we get – so it is important to look after them for the rest of our lives.
1. Choose the cheese!
Did you know that eating cheese can actually reverse tooth decay? Cheese is high in calcium, which we know is important for strong teeth as well as bones. But the benefits of cheese don’t end there. It also contains a protein called casein which strengthens tooth enamel and helps to reverse cavities. Cheese also helps prevent acid from destroying tooth enamel. It will remineralise your enamel and actively reduce tooth decay. So when you are deciding between a sugary snack or dessert or cheese, always choose the cheese.
2. Sparkling and bottled water aren’t always the best option either…
Although water is the best drink for the health of your teeth, the type of water you drink can still make a difference.
Bottled water often does not contain fluoride. Tap water has just the right amount of fluoride to help prevent cavities (in most Australian cities) – numerous studies have shown that cities with fluoride in their tap water have less decay in the population that those cities without it.
Sparkling water is also a better option that sugary fizzy drinks, however the “fizz” that is added actually makes the water more acidic. Carbonating a drink lowers the pH, which means it can cause erosion of your enamel. Sparkling water is not a bad option if your drink it occasionally. However plain water is still better on a regular basis to ensure the longevity of your enamel.
Also be mindful of what added flavours are in your sparking water – citrus based flavours will make then even more acidic, and increase the risk of damage to your enamel.
3. Even fruit juice can cause decay
Most of us know that too much sugar in our diet can cause multiple problems on our body– obesity, heart problems, liver issues, diabetes to name a few. We also know that too much sugar will cause tooth decay – the bacteria in sugar cause acid attack that literally “eats” away your strong enamel structure.
However also be aware of the sugar content in fruit based drinks and food – smoothies, dried fruit and fruit juices are high in natural sugars. Having a piece of fruit is obviously good for you, however blending a few pieces of fruit together for a drink increases the amount of sugar quite significantly. Although these drinks may have more nutrients than other sugary food, they still have large amounts of sugar which will cause dental decay. Always rinse out with plain water after ingesting sweet foods and drinks to neutralise the acid in your mouth.
4. Choose “white” food and alcohol to reduce teeth staining
Of course, we all know that coffee and alcohol should be consumed in healthy amounts only. The tannins found in berries, red wine, coffee, tea and spices are the most common culprits of those difficult to remove stains on teeth. However, did you know that tannins are often not present in foods and drinks that are clear or white in colour? White wine, or even gin and vodka, will not cause the same amount of staining as red based drinks.
Most of us need our daily coffee or tea, and enjoy a glass of wine socially. However try to limit your coffee and tea consumption (less than 4 cups a day) and save the red wine for the weekend.
Unfortunately, these stains can’t be removed with your toothbrush – this is where professional cleans are important.
Wine and beer are also acidic and can cause enamel erosion, so be sure to drink water between drinks as a rinse and to neutralise your mouth again.
5. Finish your sweet food and drink quickly!
It’s so easy to grab a sweet fizzy drink or cake as an afternoon snack and enjoy it slowly over time. Eating and drinking sweet foods/drinks slowly over a period of time effectively keeps the pH in your mouth very acidic for a longer time, increasing the chance of these sugars causing tooth decay.
The saliva we produce is incredibly efficient at cleansing all of the food out of your mouth, but did you know that it also raises the pH in your oral environment to reduce tooth decay? We know that sweet foods and drinks make your mouth very acidic. As you slowly sip or bite on these foods/drinks, your saliva doesn’t have time to cleanse and raise the pH in your mouth properly between each sip or bite.
So enjoy a sweet snack, but finish it quickly and rinse out with water afterwards!