Tuesday, June 2, 2009


There's more to keeping your pearly whites precisely that than a bit of brushing and the odd visit to a dentist. Take a look at these dental dos and don'ts.

Some foods leave greater stains than others. Dark colored drinks are the guiltiest. However, there is no need for you to eliminate them from your diet. Just try to limit them and take care to rinse your mouth with water, brush your teeth, or chew gum right after consuming them. There a many foods known to be natural teeth whiteners. Broccoli, apples, spinach, celery, and strawberries will all help you keep your teeth clean and white.

Avoid Fizzy Drinks

Carbonated drinks (including the diet variety and sparkling water) can cause your teeth to look older than they really are. These drinks are so highly acidic that they can actually dissolve the upper layers of the tooth. They contain high amounts of phosphorus - a mineral that can leach calcium from your bones if you consume too much and some scientists believe they can weaken your jawbone, increasing the chance of losing teeth.

Some researchers believe calcium is first robbed not from your hips or spine but from your jaw, leading to tooth loss. We see a number of young people who have the jaws of much older people, because of poor dietary habits such as drinking soda, along with not getting enough calcium.

Chew your Food

Foods that work on the teeth like detergents are foods that require chewing. Apples, celery and carrots clean teeth naturally and foods such a spinach, lettuce and broccoli prevent staining by creating a film on the teeth that acts like a barrier. Major strainers will take their toll on your smile sooner of later, so steer clear of tea, coffee, red wine, and highly pigmented foods such as cherries and blueberries anything in fact, that will stain a white shirt.

Don't take Drugs

Ecstasy causes jaw clenching in users. A study found that 60 per cent of ecstasy users examined had worn their teeth through the enamel and into the underlying dentine, compared with only 11 per cent of non-users. As for cocaine rubbed on gums, it restricts blood flow, traumatizes the tissue and inhibits nutrition of the gums. Remember gums keep teeth in place.

Quit Smoking

Smoking causes staining of the teeth and bad breath and increases the risk of oral cancer and gum disease, as it constricts blood flow to the gums. In fact, some gum specialists feel it's not worth providing advanced treatment for gum disease in smokers, as there is very little chance of improvement. Smoking one pack a day for 10 years can cause a 10 per cent loss of bone support. Long term studies reveal that most tooth loss in 19 to 40 year olds is associated with smoking more than 15 cigarettes a day.

Beware Bleaching

A professionally applied whitening system will not damage teeth. But some over the counter bleaches are so acidic; they can cause surface loss and sensitivity.

Stop Biting Nails

Habitual nail chewers damage more than their cuticles; they can damage their teeth, too. If you have weakened enamel, you end up with an exposed, dented, soft area in the center of the tooth. And that's when the problem occurs. The denting is much softer than the enamel and if exposed to bad habits such as chewing nails, opening beer bottles, it will wear down. Often the middle part dissolves quicker than the outside and the brittle enamel is very prone to chipping, making the teeth look uneven and unattractive.

Foods that Stain Teeth

Black coffee is a huge offender. The darker the coffee, the worse. Add a splash of milk to your cup to help lighten the drink and give your teeth an added benefit of calcium.

The dye in popsicles that stains your tongue and lips will also stain your teeth. Make sure to have a glass of water afterwards.

Balsamic vinegar is very deeply pigmented. The best recommendation is to pair it with lettuce. Lettuce forms a protective barrier over teeth, so they won't get stained.

Tomato sauce is a favorite in every household. However, due to its highly acidic nature combined with the pigment, teeth are likely to get stained. To combat the sauce, have a spinach salad at the start of your Italian meal. Similar to lettuce, spinach will help ward off stains.

Red wine is another beneficial drink. The polyphenols in it assist in preventing periodontal disease. However, it is a double sword as the same ingredients are responsible for tooth stains. In addition, the acid in wine wears away tooth enamel which will expose the yellow coloring underneath. It is not recommended to brush your teeth after drinking red wine due to the open pores. The best option is to swish with water.

Cola not only stains but contains phosphoric citric acids and sugars which lead to tooth decay. The cold temperature of soda does not help as the teeth become more porous in colder temperatures. Therefore, make sure to use a straw.

Despite the rap, tea is actually wonderful for dental health. It contains tannins which destroy bacteria and plaque. Black teas do tend to cause teas, so it's best to stick with green, white and herbal blends which come in lighter colors. If you must drink black tea, use a straw. In addition, pay attention to the temperature of the tea. Extreme temperatures open up the pores in teeth causing tooth enamel to degenerate.

Cranberry juice as well as other dark juices is a large offenders. The high concentration of pigment combined with the large amount of sugar causes teeth to yellow

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