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Words of Wisdom No. 4 – Eat Cleansing Foods
Braces, invisalign and other corrective appliances that an orthodontist provides can do wonders for the overall look of your smile. But what are you doing to protect your natural teeth from the pervasive bacteria that are known to cause decay? What you eat plays as much a role in determining the health of your teeth as does the type of oral hygiene you perform and the corrective appliances you wear. While certain high-acid and sugar-laden foods are known to tear the teeth down, other foods are known to cleanse the teeth and build them back up. Today is the perfect day to start changing your high-acid diet in favor of foods that clean, protect and even strengthen your enamel while limiting the likelihood of problems like gingivitis and tooth decay.
The Fresher, The Better
The best foods for your teeth are fresh, natural and served just like they grow. These are fruits and vegetables that are rich with phytonutrients and their very own anti-microbial properties. Celery sticks and carrot sticks are ideal given that they’re crunchy, crisp and filled with juices that act as natural astringents. If you’ve had a large meal away from home and are unable to brush your teeth, you can munch on a few of these to limit bacterial activity and cleanse away food residue. Fruits like apples, grapes and even oranges provide similar benefits, but it’s always wise to limit the amount of sugars that you put on your teeth, even when these are natural fruit sugars.
You certainly wouldn’t wash your face with a sugary soda after a grueling workout, so there’s no good reason to rinse your teeth with one of these damaging concoctions during or after a large meal. Make water your preferred beverage. Not only is it sugar-free, fat-free, calorie-free and unlikely to support harmful colonies of mouth bacteria, but it’s also great for rinsing food residues away. In fact, swishing pure water around you mouth and spitting it out is another incredibly effective and easy strategy for removing trapped foods and stubborn residues after a high-sugar or high-acid meal when you don’t have a toothbrush handy.
Did you know that eating foods that contain bone-building minerals can actually help protect, support and even rebuild your tooth enamel? This is a natural process known as remineralization and it actually works, so long as you aren’t stripping these minerals back off by rinsing your dairy products down with sugary beverages or combining them with incredibly high-acid foods (think cheeseburgers). A small square of cheddar or a few bites of yogurt not only supply ample quantities of calcium via the digestive tract, but they also put this calcium right directly on top of your teeth. The best dairy products for this purpose are both organic and free-range. Yogurt can additionally introduce beneficial bacteria into the mouth that will help fight off colonies of harmful, decay-causing organisms.
Having a strong and well-aligned bite is just as important as having healthy teeth. After all, you can’t effectively crunch up carrots and celery if you have a major overbite, imbalanced bite forces or large gaps and spaces between your teeth. A misaligned bite and tooth crowding can also offset the benefits of these natural cleansing efforts by creating more cramped spaces where food can get trapped. Braces and invisalign technologies can be used in conjunction with a good diet and diligent oral care to create an attractive smile that endures.
Call Papandreas Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment
Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers and children at his facilities in:
• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio
His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:
• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins
You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.
Dr. Papandreas is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Cleveland Dental Society, Ohio Dental Association and the Schulman Study Group of top orthodontic practices nationally.