food

5 Foods that improve your smile

Who doesn’t want a knock’em dead smile? Well we have all heard of foods and activities which aren’t so great for your pearly whites (like coffee, smoking). But here are 5 foods that will help give a brighter, whiter smile.

  • Cranberries: Cranberries, along with lots of other fruit, contain some whacky doodads called polyphenols. These chemical compounds my help to prevent plaque forming on your teeth, leading to a nicer, whiter smile.
  • Apples: High in fiber, biting into an apple literally has a scrubbing effect on your teeth. They also contain natural acids, which help to dissolve buildup. This scrubbing helps to remove stains from the enamel of your teeth
  • Dairy products: Cheese, mils, yogurt all contain calcium and phosphorous, which help to strengthen your teeth.
  • Strawberries: Strawberries contain malic acid that removes surface discolouration. They are so good at removing discolouration, they can even be used in home tooth whitening remedy. (we wont tell you how, but go look it up)
  • Water and sugar-free gum: not only does drinking water stop you from drinking other drinks (like cola), it helps provide your mouth with enough saliva. Saliva is one of the best cleaners of the mouth, and chewing sugar-free gum helps to stimulate saliva production, ensuring your mouth doesn’t dry out. Water and saliva also help wash away an surface plaque or sugar residue.

So when you’re preparing for your next big social event, try eating some of these foods to give your teeth a chance to shine!

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– Leo

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What toothpaste should you use?

Depending on your specific needs, there are a number of different toothpaste brands and types that will suit your needs. But first, you need to bear in mind that oral health companies are businesses just like any other, and although we would like to believe that more features and higher prices mean a superior product, it can often just be marketing and sale driving.

Firstly, you should always look for fluoride in your chosen toothpaste, as it coats your teeth and protects enamel.

If you have stained or discoloured teeth, it could be beneficial to use toothpaste with ‘whitening’, as these contain mild abrasives that will help prevent plaque build up, and attempt to remove stains. Keep in mind that you will most likely not be able to remove a stain that has been there for a while, and brushing too hard will actually damage your teeth by removing enamel and making them more susceptible to decay. If you are unable to remove stains or tartar build up, it’s time to see your local dentist!

If you have sensitive teeth, definitely seek out the sensitive toothpastes, as they contain different active ingredients like strontium chloride and potassium nitrate which act as desensitising agents.

When you’re brushing it can also be beneficial to brush and spit, but not rinse your mouth out afterwards, as this will allow fluoride-added toothpastes to sit on the teeth and continue to protect them.

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– Ryan

Hidden benefits of brushing your teeth

Apart from keeping your teeth clean and your breath fresh, there are a few hidden benefits to brushing your teeth and keeping good care of your oral hygiene that you may not have known:

  • Helps with weight loss. Brushing your teeth regularly after meals tells your body that you are done eating, and you are also less likely to snack with the knowledge that your minty breath will spoil the flavour of your treats.
  • Boosts your overall health. Brushing your teeth has been proven to reduce your risk of many diseases, by fighting the causes of gum disease.
  • Saves you money. Taking good care of your mouth from an early age can help reduce the need for unnecessary dental visits, expensive procedures, braces and some oral diseases. Spending those few dollars on a good toothbrush, paste and dental floss can go a long way in keeping your wallet healthy too!
  • Minimise your risk of diabetes and other diseases. Gum diseases make it very difficult to control your blood glucose level, and can also contribute to the progression of diabetes.

For a great article on some of the other benefits of brushing your teeth, head over to Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/13/brush-teeth-dementia-reasons-to-bursh_n_1870847.html

Which benefit surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter:

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– Ryan

Diet and keeping your teeth healthy

We all know that soft drinks and lollies are bad for your teeth, due to their high sugar content and tendency to linger in the mouth. Your diet is one of the most important factors in keeping your teeth and gums healthy, so you need to watch what you eat.

Dentists recommend you eat a balanced diet from the 5 major food groups:

  • whole grains
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • lean sources of protein (lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas)
  • low-fat and fat-free dairy foods

Not only will eating a balanced diet from these food groups keep your body healthy, but a balanced diet is the best way to avoid chemical imbalances in the body which cause tooth decay. For example, eating too much acidic foods (like cranberries or blueberries) can actually be bad for your teeth, because the acidic nature of the foods erode tooth enamel and cause decay. If you’re serious about your oral health, you should always avoid diets that cut out any of the food groups, due to the reasons above.

You should also drink plenty of water, as saliva protects oral tissues. If there is no ready source of water near you, you can alternatively chew some sugar-free gum, as this will stimulate saliva production in the mouth. Other drinks that are good for your teeth include milk and unsweetened tea.

So basically stay away from the sugary food and drinks, try to eat a balanced diet and you should be fine!

Can you think of any ridiculous diets that sound awful for your oral health? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter:

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– Ryan