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7 Foods For Teeth That Your Dentist Wants You To Eat More Often

7 Foods For Teeth That Your Dentist Wants You To Eat More Often

Has your dentist ever given you tips for what foods that you should or shouldn’t be eating? Better yet, have they ever given you the reasons that certain foods are beneficial to the health of your teeth and gums?

Sure, many of us have heard that certain foods like sugar, sticky foods and processed food are “bad” for our teeth, but have we heard of the many foods that are “good” for our teeth, or the ones that help control disease in the mouth?

Mother Nature got it right on many levels, and going back to basics with whole foods for teeth can really benefit the health of your mouth; but there happen to be a number of foods (some perhaps surprising) that when eaten more often, not only will help keep your dentist happy, but will help keep your pocketbook happier too.

Yes, food choices can tip the scale in regards to disease in your mouth and below are some choices that may have you spending less money on dental bills than ever before.

1. Cheese

According to a study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry,  consuming cheese and other dairy products may help protect teeth against cavities.

Various compounds found in cheese may adhere to tooth enamel and help further protect teeth from acid.

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Eat cheese at the end of a meal or as a snack to coat the teeth and neutralize the acids formed from eating carbohydrates.

2. Plain yogurt (preferably full fat or Greek)

Yogurt helps gums stay healthy, it strengthens teeth, it helps to balance the acids in the mouth and it also helps to fight bad breath.  Basically, yogurt is a dental super food!

A Japanese study of 1,000 adults revealed that the healthiest gums were found in those who ate the most yogurt.  Probiotics, (the good bacteria) found in yogurt are the possible reason because these active cultures may help to slow the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.  Cavity-causing bacteria love an acidic mouth.

Yogurt counters this attack by balancing your mouth’s pH levels, and creating an environment where bacteria have a hard time surviving.  Also, yogurt is high in calcium which helps to keep your teeth strong.

Eating six ounces of yogurt each day is recommended for the control of bad breath.

The best yogurts for dental health are plain and Greek yogurts because they often contain the highest amount of probiotics.

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If you or your children crave sweet yogurt, you might want to add a small amount of fresh fruit or a natural sweetener like xylitol (see below).  Recently, there are a few preserves and jams that contain xylitol instead of sugar and work as a safe and sweet addition to plain (non flavored) yogurt.

3. Apples

Apples are not only good for your teeth, but they also act as a breath freshener.

The natural fibers present in the skin and the flesh of the apple helps to scrub your tongue and gums, and help to remove much of the plaque that is responsible for bad breath.

Also, they have a astringent quality that helps to get rid of plaque (Granny Smith apples work best).  Eating apples also helps to remove stain on your teeth from coffee and other staining drinks.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli does two things that benefit the teeth.  It helps to keep them whiter, and the iron found in broccoli helps to form an acid-resistant barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth.

Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, and vitamin E, which helps aid the body in healing.  It is a good source of calcium, vitamin B2 and folic acid (which can help prevent spina bifida in babies if consumed by pregnant women).

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The secret to broccoli and whiter teeth, is to eat the florets.  Raw is the best method for eating, because the crunchiness also gets the saliva flowing.  The best way to cook broccoli is to steam it because boiling broccoli for too long can cause all the vitamins and nutrients to be lost.

5. Pineapple

According to Dr. Ellie Phillips DDS, in the 1970s, she used to work in a dental office in Switzerland that recommended patients eat pineapple before and after their wisdom teeth were extracted. This intrigued her, so she began studying the effects of pineapple and its wonders to the mouth.

You would think with a fruit like pineapple and its acidity that it would be a no go for this list, but pineapple is one of the citrus fruits that actually alkalize the mouth (along with Granny Smith apples)!  Pineapple is the only fruit that contains an enzyme called Bromelain. Bromelain has become recognized for its health benefits and is useful in medical treatments for a number of ailments and diseases. In the mouth, it helps to reduce inflammation and help with healing.

Also, pineapple contains vitamins K, C and other substances that promote healing.  Many people claim that pineapple also helps tooth sensitivity, and according to Dr. Shawn Frawley DDS, he also states that bromelain acts as a natural stain remover, and it also helps to break up plaque.

6. Xylitol

Xylitol is sweet like sugar, but when it comes to bacteria, it has the exact opposite effect.  Fear not; xylitol is not a chemical, artificial sweetener. It is a naturally occurring sweetener found in birch trees and corn, and our bodies produce it daily (around 15 grams).  Xylitol has a very interesting story behind it, and there are so many dental benefits to xylitol there could be an entire article written about this product alone.

Xylitol does not break down and feed plaque like regular sugar.  Instead it tricks the plaque into thinking it is food, yet it delivers no nutrients to the plaque and essentially starves the plaque so that it can no longer survive and thrive.

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Typically carbohydrates (and sugars) feed the bacteria in the mouth, the result is an acidic spike in the mouth for 20 minutes after eating or drinking sugars and carbs.  Xylitol also helps to immediately neutralize the acids in the mouth and it helps to increase saliva (great for dry mouth sufferers).

Having xylitol at the end of each of your meals will take away acidity and put minerals into the tooth surface. In order to receive the benefits of xylitol (also referred to as “therapeutic dosing”), it is recommended to ingest 6–10 grams (1–2 teaspoons) throughout the day.

Having a bit after each meal and a teaspoon in your morning’s water will help you satisfy the recommended daily “therapeutic” dose.

Xylitol is available in many forms such as sugar-free gum, candies, mints, lollipops, caramels, chocolate and granules which look and act like table sugar.  If you are using xylitol to bake or cook with, the ratio is an equal 1:1.

These simple steps will not only improve the health of your mouth, they just might also help you realize how easy it can be to stop cavities and prevent gum disease from getting out of control.  Both cavities and gum disease are bacterial infections that can be avoided with simple changes in both the foods you eat and the way you use your home care products as well!

Lifehacking your oral health routine could be the best change you make for the health of your mouth as well as the health of your body.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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