Let's Talk Shop by Danae DeShazer

Wednesday Factoid: Eat your Way to Healthy Teeth

Posted September 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

by Danae DeShazer

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Let's be real, here.

How many of us skimp on dental care? We brush our teeth, hopefully twice a day, and try to make it to the dentist... but, how often do you look at your delicious lunch and think, "Hmm. I wonder what this will do to my teeth or oral health?" I would suspect that you've probably never, ever thought that. (And if you have, I’m officially dubbing you the tooth fairy.)
 
 
The Yale School of Medicine says that starchy or sugary foods can wreak havoc in your mouth (intense!). “When sugars or starches in your mouth come in contact with plaque, the acids that result can attack teeth for 20 minutes or more after you finish eating. Repeated attacks can break down the hard enamel on the surface of teeth, leading to tooth decay. Plaque also produces toxins that attack the gums and bone supporting the teeth.”
 
So, what can we eat that will actually help keep our pearly whites, well, pearly and white (and healthy and clean and enamel-tastic)? Here are eight foods that will keep your teeth healthy:
 

1. CHEESE
Low in sugar and acid, and high in calcium -- this is a great choice. It contains a protein called Casein, that is useful for fortifying the tooth’s surface.
 
2. GREEN TEA
This tea contains polyphenols, an antioxidant plant compound that prevents plaque from adhering to your teeth and helps to reduce your chances of developing cavities. Many green teas also contain fluoride, which helps protect tooth enamel.
 
3. SUGAR-FREE GUM
Artificial sweeteners aren’t the best, but there’s one exception: Xylitol. This sugar replacement (found in sugar-free gums) helps prevent harmful bacteria in plaque from metabolizing sugar. 
 
4. CELERY
Most of your raw, fresh veggies are good for teeth because their fibrous nature requires chewing, which results in saliva. Celery is at the top of the list because its little “strands” are particularly good at naturally cleaning your teeth.
 
5. PEARS
Fresh fruit (like your fresh veggies) also stimulates saliva production. Pears have a larger acid neutralizing effect on tooth surfaces than other fresh fruits.
 
6. TAP WATER
Most drinking water has appropriate fluoride levels that will remineralize your teeth, reverse damage caused by acids, and prevent decay.
 
7. YOGURT
Like cheese, it has that special protein Casein, AND calcium and phosphates, which all help remineralize the teeth.
 
8. SESAME SEEDS
These little seeds are high in calcium, and are known to slough off plaque and help build tooth enamel. [And, yum!]
 
// photo sources:
Green Tea | Gum | Celery | Pears | Yogurt | Sesame Seeds
 
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And, if you’re in need of a new dentist, we highly recommend Dr. Juan C. Mesia. He opened Centergate Family Dentistry near Cattlemen Road and Bee Ridge Road, and his friendly staff will take care of your entire family under one roof! [read about their recent video shoot]
 
Right now they're offering a $37 New Patient Welcome Offer, so if you haven't seen the Dentist chair in awhile, you should give them a call! (941) 379-7777
 
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