Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good Foods, Healthy Teeth

Our teeth are irreplaceable and we cannot do without them. Did you know that eating the right foods can do as much good for you as regular brushing and flossing? Did you realize that some food and drink will not only help keep your teeth in shape, but also feed them, too? Snack on some fruits and vegetables while counts down the top 10 foods to benefit your dental health.

Eating apples, celery and carrots can help remove plaque. If you do eat sweets with sugar in it immediately brush after eating the sweets and this will help prevent cavities. Also, another interesting fact is that sweets are less harmful to teeth if eaten with a main meal, rather than between meals. Table sugar is more harmful to teeth than sugars that occur naturally in fruits and milk.

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains substances called catechins that kill the bacteria in your mouth that turn sugar into plaque (a sticky mass of bacteria, sugars, proteins, and fats that produces cavity-causing acid when it comes in contact with sugary or starchy foods). Catechins also wipe out the bacteria that cause bad breath. Try This: Drink 2 to 5 cups of green tea (regular or decaffeinated) a day, says Mindy Green, director of research at the Herb Research Foundation in Boulder, Colo. Consider making a thermos of green tea to drink at work. The night before, steep 3 to 4 green tea bags in 4 cups of boiling-hot water in a covered thermos for three to five minutes. Remove the bags. Serve the tea the next day over ice or after reheating it.

Sugarless or sugar-free food sometimes simply means that no sugar was added to the foods during processing. However, this does not mean that the foods do not contain other natural sweeteners, such as honey, molasses, evaporated cane sugar, fructose, barley malt, or rice syrup. These natural sweeteners contain the same number of calories as sugar and can be just as harmful to teeth.

To determine if the sugarless or sugar-free foods you buy contain natural sweeteners, examine the ingredients label. Words that end in '-ose' (like sucrose and fructose) usually indicate the presence of a natural sweetener. On the label, look under sugars or carbohydrates.

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