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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 August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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