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Foods to Avoid for Healthy, White Teeth continued...

Sugary breakfast cereals: Foods that contain a mixture of sugar and starch should be avoided. Snacks such as ready-to-eat breakfast cereal, pastries, and many processed foods may be bad for teeth. The combination of starch and sugar is more likely to get stuck in plaque between teeth.

Coffee, tea, and red wine: Sweetened tea or coffee raises acid levels, weakening enamel. And because they are often sipped slowly, acid levels may remain high over a longer period of time, raising the danger. Coffee, tea, and red wine also tend to stain teeth.

Hidden Threats to Your Teeth

Teeth are strong and resilient. But teeth with root canals or fillings are often weakened. Biting down on something hard can cause them to crack or fracture. To avoid trouble, don’t chew ice. Be careful eating olives or fruits that contain pits. Sometimes even foods that have been pitted retain a stray pit. Avoid unpopped popcorn kernels, as well.

Foods to Choose for Healthy, White Teeth

Water: The best thirst quencher is also the smartest choice for your teeth. Water helps wash acid-producing foods from the mouth.

Sugar-free drinks: If you like your water sweetened, choose sugar-free drinks. Because sugar-free drinks wash acid-producing food from the mouth, they may help reduce cavity risk.

Sugar-free chewing gum: Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva, which helps neutralize acids in the mouth, protecting tooth enamel. The flow of saliva also washes food out of the mouth, limiting the amount of time it is in contact with teeth. Sugar-free chewing gum is also a good choice when you crave something sweet.

Citrus fruit: Although it is acidic, citrus fruit increases saliva flow. In fact, research shows that oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruit tend to protect tooth enamel. Because citrus fruit contains a lot of water, it also helps wash away acid-producing bacteria.

Cheese and milk: Cheese and milk protect tooth enamel and ward off cavities in several ways. First, they encourage saliva production, which neutralizes acids in the mouth. The protein, calcium and phosphorous in cheese and milk also buffer acids, protecting enamel from erosion. Studies suggest that cheese and milk may even help strengthen the protective minerals in teeth surfaces.

Tips for Pretty Teeth and Gums

See how to keep your teeth healthy, white, and even.
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