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You Are What You Eat

Dr Martin Abelar - April 29, 2023 - 0 comments

Many of our habits, such as what we eat and drink and if we smoke can determine the look and overall health of our teeth. Clearly if we smoke, we can expect some tooth staining, but did you know that certain foods can stain the teeth, too? Conversely, did you know that there are also certain foods that can help whiten your teeth, just by eating them? Here’s a closer look at how what we eat can make (or break) our smile!

It all begins when food or drink enters our mouth. That’s when the s. Mutans bacteria start creating harmful acid that weakens the enamel of our teeth. S Mutans bacteria is responsible for cavities, but can be combated by brushing and flossing. It can also be partially defeated by healthy saliva, which we get from eating healthy foods and keeping the mouth hydrated.

The food we choose also plays a big role in our oral health. Fresh fruits, nuts, dairy, whole grains, and meats are all good for the teeth, whereas processed foods, sugars, sticky foods, and carbohydrates can all cause damage. Foods like wine, soda, coffee can also cause stains to the teeth. Wine can even cause enamel erosion because it’s so acidic. This can make staining easier, too. In fact, many people believe that because they’re drinking white wine they’re less apt to stain their teeth, but the acid from the whine actually opens the enamel up to absorb more stains!

In addition to not staining our teeth, certain foods that we eat can even help lift stains from the teeth as we chew! Foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are great for this purpose, and they taste great, too! In fact, did you know one of the best foods for whitening teeth are – are you sitting down- strawberries! It’s true! Strawberries may seem like they’d leave stains, but the malic acid in strawberries can whiten the teeth!

In addition to whitening the teeth, some food can even strengthen the enamel. Foods such that contain calcium and vitamin A like dairy and dark leafy greens can help do this naturally, as can fluoridated water and toothpaste!

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