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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Teeth Friendly Foods : Heal Teeth

No one wants cavities. But it's a fact that if you frequently eat high-sugar foods and do not take care of your teeth with proper, regular brushing, plaque will build up. The resulting acids will eat away at your tooth enamel, and you can say hello to cavities.

You get hungry and sometimes you need to snack. What's to be done when you can't get to a toothbrush? Starve, for fear of cavities? Of course not. Simply exercise some wisdom when choosing your snack. It may seem convenient and taste-bud tempting to reach for a candy bar, but your teeth won't thank you.

It's common knowledge that sugar and other sweets are bad for teeth, but did you know that certain foods can actually promote tooth health? So with the health of your teeth and gums in mind, don't just avoid certain foods, seek out certain foods.

Consider the following foods and what they can do for your oral health:

Apples, celery, and carrots. These crunchy foods help to remove plaque from teeth when you are unable to brush. (Not a substitute, mind you, but a decent alternative until you can get to your toothbrush. Also, rinse your mouth with water.)

Fruit. Sugars that occur naturally in fruits are less harmful to teeth than regular table sugar. But keep in mind that natural sugars such as honey, molasses, corn syrup, and raw sugar still do promote cavities.

Natural foods are best. Replace processed snacks with fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Foods that aren't chewy, sticky, and gooey, as these cling to your teeth the longest.

Raisins. Yes, they're sticky and sweet, but research has indicated that raisins contain phytochemicals that discourage the growth of cavity-causing bacteria, as well as hinder the bacteria from clinging to teeth.

Unsweetened cereal. Obviously, better for teeth than sweetened cereal.

Baked tortilla chips, pretzels, whole grain crackers, and popcorn. You won't find much sugar here.

Water. Okay, it's not a food, but it does affect your teeth. Instead of drinking sugary drinks such as soda and juice, drink water and you'll be rinsing your teeth as well as quenching your thirst.

Finally, if you must indulge in occasional sweets, the best time to do so it along with a main meal, instead of between meals when the sugar can cling to your teeth more easily and longer. During mealtimes, saliva production is at a higher level, thus helping to reduce plaque build-up (commonly misspelled as "plague build-up") and prevent cavities.

Remember, no food can take the place of proper brushing and dental hygiene, but it's plain to see that certain foods are more friendly to teeth when it comes to forming plaque and cavities. Keep this in mind and you're on your way to enjoying a happy, healthy mouth.

Teeth Friendly Foods : Heal Teeth
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