Are apples good for your teeth too?
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what does it mean for the dentist?
Bright smiles, fresh breath and all-around healthy teeth and gums are just a few of the goals on most people’s healthy life list. And who doesn’t want to be healthy from your teeth to your toes?
However, there are 1001 munchies every day that are bad for your health, gaining access through your mouth and directly putting your teeth and gums on the firing line. So if you’re going to win the fight for health, then it’s best to know precisely what and why you should eat certain foods and avoid others.
The apple a day effect
Known as a detergent food or natural toothbrushes – crisp and firm apples scrub to clean your teeth and gums as you chew. This brings your mouth to an ideal pH of 7.0.
That’s why experts say to eat detergent foods at the end of your meal. Make merry with the saliva production and acid reduction by eating sweet, juicy apples for your pudding.
These are the benefits of an apple:
- Known as nature’s toothbrush, the fibrous fruit stimulates the gums and removes plaque trapped between teeth.
- Packed with 15 % of your recommended daily dose of Vitamin C, which boosts gum health to withstand infection, bleeding and swelling such as periodontal disease. This disease causes inflammation in the body and heart disease.
- It is loaded with potassium that improves bone mineral density – strengthening bones and teeth.
- Besides assisting weight loss with soluble fibre, experts say its high antioxidant levels lowers cholesterol, regulates blood sugar and decreases the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
If the acidity in apples bothers you, the Journal of Dentistry says that acidity can be offset by pairing with a calcium-rich snack such as cheese or celery. Or drink a glass of water as an extra measure.
More super cleaners
Although no food can truly replace brushing and good oral hygiene practices, every little bit helps the cause.
Besides promoting good digestion and gut health, the following vegetables and fruits are super-cleaners of the mouth, teeth and gums:
- The malic acid in sweet and tart strawberries keeps teeth stain-free and is a natural whitener for enamel.
- Pineapple contains an enzyme that helps remove plaque, removes stains and whitens teeth.
- Munching crunchy raw carrots, which contain vitamin A and plague-attacking keratin ensures; the massaging of gums, the strengthening of tooth enamel and is known to be a top cavity fighter.
- Onions may get a bad rap on the bad breath charts, but its sulphur-containing compound means doom for bacteria that cause tooth decay. You may want to eat raw onions with fresh celery and parsley to freshen your breath.
- Chewing fibrous celery sticks cleans the teeth, massages the gums and neutralises bacteria with the flood of saliva it produces. Other scrubbers among the greens such as lettuce, kale, broccoli, cucumber and spinach also provide mineral and vitamin boosts that assist with protecting enamel.
- Tiny sesame seeds eaten on their own, in baked health bread or no-bake seed and nut bars, scrub away plaque. And being high in calcium, teeth are also strengthened and protected.
However, with all of the above, make sure that you remove tiny bits caught between your teeth timeously.
More on Strawberries
As mentioned above, strawberries contain a tooth-whitening enzyme of malic acid. Malic acid does wonders for your smile without the harmful chemicals and high cost of formal dental work says, Mainstreet Smiles.
To achieve the most sparkling pair of pearly whites here is a great recipe for ‘strawberry toothpaste’. Start by crushing one strawberry and adding ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Mix well and dip your toothbrush into the mixture. Use the bristles to coat your teeth with the puree. It may sizzle a little!
Allow the mixture to sit on your teeth for about five minutes. Rinse it off, and proceed to brush your teeth with regular toothpaste.
The malic acid in strawberries will break up the particles that make stains on your teeth. In addition, baking soda contributes to a whiter smile, and the brushing will help you remove stain-producing particles from your mouth. Make sure to get all of the mixtures off of your teeth and use floss to pick seeds and other remnants from the crevices of your mouth. Only use this method once every seven days. Overuse can break down the tooth enamel.
The avoid list
Prevention is always better than cure, and with that comes the need to know what foods are genuinely beneficial or seriously harmful.
When it comes to your teeth, all the sweet or salty and sticky foods such as cakes, sweets, crackers, biscuits, refined-flour breads, chips, crackers, soft drinks, doughnuts, dried fruit and sweetened juices feed the bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria overgrowth creates an acidic environment, and this leads to gum disease, cavities and decay.
Eat these foods in moderation if you can’t avoid them. The American Dental Association suggests that you eat sugary foods during meal times when saliva is in full flow in your mouth, thereby rinsing food particles from the teeth and limiting the effects of acidity.
Drink more fluoridated water as it too flushes sugars and acids from your teeth and gums. Then remember to floss once a day and brush twice a day, dentists say.
Affinity Dental offers dental insurance options at three different price points. Each covers specific, individual specialist work.
Adults and children need to visit the dentist every six months. Appointments can really start to add up financially. Dental insurance covers you for any additional treatments such as crowns, root canals or fillings, whether they are done at the dentist or at a specialist practice.
If you need to find an Affinity Dental-approved dentist in your area, click here.