Is your health kick ruining your TEETH?
How green juices and fruits could be turning your smile yellow (and what to eat instead)
Apparently, your super-food kick could be ruining your smile – and contributing to teeth discolouration and bad oral health, according to experts.
Dentist Dr Sameer Patel and registered dietitian and British Dietetic Association spokesman Ann Ashworth have highlighted some of the dental dangers of some of the most popular health foods and advised on alternatives that pose less of a threat to your teeth.
Apparently, your super-food kick could be ruining your smile – and contributing to teeth discolouration and bad oral health, according to experts
Popcorn has gone from snack food to superfood and has quickly become a go-to item to embrace low-calorie snacking.
However, popcorn is not quite so nice to your teeth and if you take a bite into one of those un-cracked kernels there’s a high risk of breaking or cracking a tooth.
It’s also practically impossible not to get popcorn stuck in between your and if those tiny bits become lodged between teeth, it can lead to infection and even a rather nasty abscess.
‘Ensure you are flossing thoroughly at least 2-3 times a week to remove bacteria and dislodge trapped food. If you do not floss you are only cleaning a third of the tooth and could be at risk of tooth decay,’ says Dr Sameer Patel.
Ann Ashworth says: ‘Popcorn can be dangerous and could cause you to break a tooth if you bite down hard on an unpopped kernal, so it’s advisable to be careful while eating it.’
Popcorn has gone from snack food to superfood and has quickly become a go-to item for celebrities. Left, Green juices and smoothies are made by blending leafy green vegetables with fruit to sweeten the taste
With the juicing trend and NutriBullet craze in full swing, green smoothies are all the rage. However, in reality consuming large quantities doesn’t do your oral health any favours.
These green juices and smoothies are made by blending leafy green vegetables with fruit to sweeten the taste. The juice from fruit and vegetables, especially fruit, tend to have a high acid content which severely damages the enamel of your teeth in a similar way to fizzy drinks.
Although fruit and vegetables are considered healthy acids, this is only the case when they are consumed as a whole, rather than as a concentrated juice.
Fruit’s natural sugar, fructose, is also a common cause of cavities as the bacteria in the mouth feed on it, so be careful when you do consume juice as part of a balanced diet. Dr Sameer Patel advises: ‘Make sure you drink through a straw and try to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming a green smoothie’.
Ann Ashworth says: ‘If green juices contain a lot of fruit, they can be damaing to teeth. If you’re drinking juice, ensure that it has a lot of vegetables in. It’s better for teeth to eat fruit whole rather than juicing it,’
Beet juice is dark in colour and can dull the colour of your gnashers over time – and the acidity in grapefruits can do a lot of damage to your teeth
Beetroot may be rich in fibre, calcium and vitamins A and B, however it is also one of the worst offenders for teeth staining. Beet juice is dark in colour and can dull the colour of your gnashers over time and reveal nasty dark stains.
Dr Sameer Patel advises people to consume in moderation and to be extra vigilant, swill your mouth out with water after eating beetroot.
‘If you want to know which foods are likely to stain your teeth, compare your pearly whites to a white shirt. Anything that would stain the shirt will usually have a similar effect on your teeth over time’ says Dr Sameer Patel.
Ann Ashworth advises that instead of drinking lots of beetroot juice, you eat the beetroot with a mix other foods to reduce the chance of it staining your teeth. ‘This is also healthier, as you’ll be eating the fibre and pulp of the beetroot instead of just the juice.’
With so many celebrities endorsing this so-called healthy citrus fruit, it’s hard to believe that grapefruit can actually do a lot of damage to your teeth.
Just like sweets, any sour foods contain a high level of citric acid that horrifyingly has the same pH level as the acid in your stomach. The acidity from these citrus fruits causes the enamel of your teeth to erode and tooth decay can occur.
‘Acid erosion can increase teeth sensitivity and when eaten regularly, citrus fruits can contribute to the build-up of plague and tooth decay. I recommend chewing gum after consumption to rehydrate the mouth and promote the production of saliva’ says Dr Sameer Patel.
Ann Ashworth says: ‘It’s better to eat grapefruit as part of a meal rather than by itself to help prevent teeth being damaged by its acid.
Packed full of goodness, almonds make for the ideal tooth-friendly snack, while feta, right, contains calcium
Packed full of goodness, almonds make for the ideal tooth-friendly snack. Unlike other nuts, almonds are incredibly low in sugar and also have the highest nutritional value in terms of calcium. Calcium helps to strengthen teeth and bones and also nourishes healthy gum tissue.
Ann Ashworth says: ‘Nuts are really good for you – they’re a good source of protein and as long as you don’t eat too many are very healthy.’
A great source of calcium and general health food for maintaining good oral hygiene; feta is a great addition to your diet.
‘Cheese and Feta in particular has a low pH level, which helps to neutralise acid, fight plaque and prevent cavities from forming’ explains Dr Sameer.
Celery might not be the most flavoursome food around, however it does work miracles on your pearly whites
Researchers have also found that the fermented dairy product made the mouth more alkaline, which in turn can reduce the need for dental treatment.
Ann Ashworth says: ‘Cheese is a good source of calcium, so can help to make teeth healthier.’
Celery might not be the most flavoursome food around, however it does work miracles on your pearly whites.
Dr Sameer Patel comments ‘like carrots and apples, celery acts like a natural toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. This in turn maintains a healthy, white smile and prevents staining. It is also a source of vitamins A and C that boost your gum’s health too’.
Green and Herbal Teas
We all know that herbal tea is good for your digestive system, however were you aware of all the teeth and dental related benefits too?
Dr Sameer Patel comments: ‘Herbal tea and in particular green tea, contains polyphenols that interact with plaque and prevent harmful bacteria from growing.
‘This not only helps to prevent cavities, it also reduces inflammation and the chances of gum disease’.
Ann Ashworth says: ‘Polyphenols occur naturally in plants such as green tea, and can be beneficial to health.’
Article and Photos Courtesy: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-3559708/Is-health-kick-ruining-teeth-green-juices-fruits-turning-smile-yellow-eat-instead.html
ADA Morning Huddle Newsletter posted as well.