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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 June 13, 2019

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

Reference

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