Foods that are beneficial for Oral Hygiene and Teeth.
There is probably no bigger turn-off or offensive odor to people than bad breath or Halitosis. Many people just cover it up by chewing gum or mouth sprays, or a quick swish with mouthwash, but at best it is just temporary if the cause is poor oral hygiene. The odor that comes from inflamed gums and impacted food between the teeth causes very bad smells and is not good for general health and well being either.
Diet is very important to overall health of the entire body, but plays a big part in area of the teeth, mouth and gums also. Not only should you brush your teeth after every meal, but you should try to floss often too, especially in mouths were the teeth are crowded or overlapping.
People with braces are faced with an even bigger challenge. Dentists and Orthodontists recommend that they use a soft tooth brush or one especially designed for braces called a bi-level toothbrush, as long as it is recommended and approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Teeth should generally be brush (always, not just with braces) for a full two to three minutes, before rinsing heartily. Using a timer at first is a good idea, since many people do not realize how long that is.
With braces, overcrowding or crooked teeth, the brushing should be slow and methodical, flossing should be at least once a day with fluoride toothpaste. Oral irrigators that shoot water between teeth are very good tools for anyone, and also using antibacterial rinses. Disclosing solutions can be purchased at the drugstore, and are like the ones used by Orthodontists. After swishing the liquid into the mouth, they “disclose” areas with the plaque buildup for better brushing.
Besides taking care of the cleaning aspects of gums and teeth, a lot of considerations should be given to proper nutrition, vitamins and minerals. Most dentists agree on the foods beneficial for the teeth, but occasionally, you will see from the following list, that there is a conflict with a food good for nutrition but bad for breath, or possibly the reverse too.
Foods that are excellent for teeth:
Fruit, especially apples, strawberries, Citrus, and Kiwi. Great source of Vitamin C which is the cement that holds cells together and for important for healthy gums. Apples are good for freshening breath also.
Crisp Vegetables which act as nature’s toothbrush and cleanse and stimulate the gums. Especially good are pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, celery, and cucumbers. The vitamin A found in these veggies helps with the formation of new enamel. Celery is especially helpful as it protects the teeth while producing saliva.
Nuts, for protein and iron. Lack of iron in the diet can result in enflamed tongue.
Yogurt, Milk and Cheese: Should be unsweetened, or low sugar and is a good source of calcium, with low acidity on teeth. Cheese is low carb, high calcium and phosphates, which balances the mouth’s PH, helps promote saliva, and kills bacteria. Also provides Calcium and Vitamin D.
Green Tea: Contains polyphenal, an antioxidant plant compound that prevents plaque, inhibits growth of bacteria and has some natural fluoride. Any tea is a better choice than coffee which leaves a thin coating on the tongue.
Fennel Seeds, good for breath; Sesame seeds are good for bones, as they are very high in Calcium.
Cinnamon Sticks, good for breath.
Green leafy Vegetables
Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Meat, and eggs contain phosphorous, calcium and protein.
Onions contain anti-bacterial sulfur compounds that kill bacteria in the mouth. Best eaten freshly peeled or raw (for teeth health that is…not the breath!)
Water keeps the gums hydrated and washes away food particles.
Foods that are best to AVOID, as they are bad for the teeth and oral hygiene:
All sugary carbohydrates rich in starch. The reason is pretty awful when you think about it: there are microorganisms like mutans streptococci and lactobacilli bacteria that are present in the saliva of human beings; when sugary foods enter into the mouth, these microorganisms consume the sugar (told you it wasn’t good) and produce acids that start decay of teeth within a few hours!
Refined foods are all bad too for the same type of reason.
This includes white flour breads, cookies and cereals and wheat flour breads, cookies, cereals and crackers doughnuts, muffins, pastries, tortillas, bagels and sandwiches.
Anything sticky or chewy is bad. Junk food lacks vitamins and minerals and destroys tooth structure.
Coffee, soft drinks and sugary juices cause discoloration of teeth and weaken enamel.
Glucose in milk on the teeth as in baby bottle decay found in children still drinking from a baby bottle, long after they have teeth is very bad.
Alcohol and Smoking is bad for teeth.
Some additional tips for good nutrition and habits to protect the teeth are: chewing sugar-free gum with Xylitol is okay for both breath and teeth. Xylitol actually helps prevent cavities, and promotes saliva production; avoid bad breath from low carbohydrate diets that put the body into ketosis; increase fluids and especially adding lemon to water for fresh breath, as well as chewing sprigs of parsley or aloe vera.
Sometimes bad breath is caused by gastric regurgitation, kidney problems, smoking and bacteria, so see the doctor regularly. There is a home made mouthwash that is beneficial: 2 teaspoons of Aloe Vera juice in 8 ounces of water.
Dr. Gerald F. Judd Ph.D who is a chemistry and Fluoride Researcher has made some controversial claims about care of the teeth and oral hygiene methods. He agrees wholeheartedly about the proper foods for vitamins and minerals, but he swears if people would follow his formula for care, that no one would ever have cavities or gingivitis or brittle cracked teeth again. Quite a claim! Here is his plan:
Always drink water with meals and rinse acids away while eating.
Brush your teeth with bar soap. Just rub the wet bristles across the bar a few times, brush your teeth, then rinse. He says it takes less water to rinse away, and that common toothpastes leave a barrier of glycerine.
Take a calcium and Vitamin D supplement daily.
Take monosodium phosphate daily. It is available in pound bags, and he recommends 1/5 of a teaspoon in 1 inch of water, mix, then fill up to 8 ounces and drink.
Take sodium ascorbate daily. He recommends Trader Joe’s vitamin C powder (1 level teaspoon) mixed with 1/2 teaspoon Arm & Hammer Baking soda in an inch of water, let fizz, then dilute with 8 ounces of water and drink.
Don’t worry about Bacteria or Sugar. He says the claims are false that are so harmful.
AVOID fluoride. Dr. Judd claims fluoride unravels enzymes and actually ends up being bad for teeth.
- Dentist in belmont