8 Steps to a Brighter, Healthier Smile
Healthy habits, like avoiding certain foods and drinking plenty of water, can help your smile shine.
In order to achieve a sparkling smile, you’ll need to treat your teeth to more than just regular brushing. Healthy teeth start with healthy habits — from your brushing routine to the foods you should and shouldn’t eat.
“Your mouth is your body’s initial point of contact with the nutrients you consume,” says Kimberly A. Harms, DDS, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA). “So naturally, what you put in your mouth impacts not only the health of your teeth and gums, but also your overall health.” That includes beverages, the type and frequency of snacks, and even the gum you chew.
It’s important to go beyond brushing and change your daily habits to get the bright, healthy smile you want. Here’s how:
Avoid enamel damage. The layer of protective enamel on your teeth is your first defense against cavities, but certain foods and drinks strip it away, putting your smile at risk. Opting for sugar-filled sodas, sticky sweets (such as taffy), sweetened fruit drinks, and sugary snacks promotes tooth decay, Dr. Harms says. “When you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks for long periods of time, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your enamel.” Be sure to read food labels and choose foods that are lower in sugar.
Eat nutrient-rich foods. Your teeth need nutrients to stay strong, white, and cavity-free. “For good dental health, it’s important to eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups,” Harms says. This ensures that your teeth get the essential nutrients they need. Calcium, found in dairy products and leafy greens, is especially important for your teeth. Phosphorous, which can be found in proteins such as eggs, fish, poultry, meat, and dairy, is also essential. Both of these nutrients help protect and restore the enamel on your teeth, according to the ADA.
Limit snacks. Too much snacking isn’t only bad for your waistline; it’s bad for your smile, too. “Foods eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day do because more saliva is released during a meal,” Harms says. “Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.” Some snacking is inevitable, so make sure to opt for something healthy such as
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Shared from: everydayhealth.com