We’ve given you plenty of foods and drinks to avoid to help ensure you have the whitest, healthiest smile, but isn’t about time you heard some positives? There are plenty of healthy alternatives out there, and some of them may even pleasantly surprise you!
The Top Five
While there are plenty of great foods and drinks that can help your smile – and we’ll certainly focus on them in future blog posts – we thought we’d begin with the cream of the crop, the top of the heap, A number 1.
Water: Yes, you probably knew this one, but sometimes it’s best not to overlook the obvious. The best thirst quencher, unsurprisingly, is also the smartest choice for your teeth. Water helps wash acid-producing foods from the mouth and, given the fluoridated water supply in most jurisdictions, actively works to strengthen teeth.
Sugar-free drinks: If water is just too bland for you, or if you’ve just had enough, sugar-free drinks are a great alternative. Like water, sugar-free drinks can wash acid-producing food from the mouth, they may help reduce cavity risk.
Citrus fruit: Ok, we admit: it is acidic, but that’s not the whole story! Citrus fruit increases saliva flow, and, in fact, research shows that oranges, grapefruits and other citrus fruit tends to protect tooth enamel. Because citrus fruit also contains a lot of water, it helps wash away acid-producing bacteria. Didn’t see that coming, did you?
Cheese and milk: Cheese and milk protect tooth enamel and ward off cavities in several ways. First, they encourage saliva production, and we already know that that neutralizes acids in the mouth. The protein in cheese and milk also buffers acids, protecting enamel from erosion.
Cocoa: Chocoholics rejoice! Substances found in cocoa have been shown to dampen inflammation of the gums and may help protect against tooth erosion and decay. Even chocolate milk, although it contains some sugar, doesn’t seem to increase the risk of cavities compared to snacks like cookies, chips, and raisins. Dark chocolate is a good choice, since it is lower in sugar than milk chocolate.
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