Earlier this week I wrote about foods that are bad for your teeth and I thought that I could give some suggestions of common substitutions for popular foods.
- Eat Fresh Fruit Instead of Dried Fruit for a snack – There are a lot of good reasons to have dried fruit — sometimes fresh fruit is hard to carry, especially if you are out camping or on the go. However, if you are at home or running simple errands, having a piece of fresh fruit — preferably not from the citrus family due to the acids. Many fresh fruits are fibrous and actually have a cleaning quality to them that can help prevent the build up of plaque on your teeth. Be careful of apples however, as there is evidence that apples can damage your teeth due to the method of eating them. The sugars and acids are given more exposure time with your teeth. If you have apples or related fruits, cut them up and rinse your mouth out with water afterwards.
- Drink Water Instead of Soda and Sports and Energy Drinks – Soda is bad for you. There is no getting around it. Water is the building block of life and has numerous restorative and cleansing properties. It also helps keep the pH balance in your mouth and rinses away residual sugars, acids, and other particulates that may damage your teeth. The same goes for Sports and Energy Drinks. They contain viscous fluids that can stick to your teeth, causing erosion and soften your enamel and dentine, making you prone to tooth decay .
- Drink Tea Instead of Coffee – Fun fact – coffee is the official national non-alcoholic drink of the United States as declared by the First Continental Congress. Over half of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee everyday, specialty coffee is an $18 billion dollar business, and most people in the US who are coffee drinkers add cream or sugar to their coffee! On average, 400 million cups of coffee are drunk each day. So, what is so bad about coffee? It stains your teeth and has a fairly high acidity. Tea, on the other hand, has a number of benefits for your teeth. Black and Green Tea contains polyphenols which inhibit the growth of the bacteria that cause tartar and tooth decay. It also has less caffeine, so it is a good way to titrate down from coffee, especially if you are trying to cut back without the headaches that come from caffeine withdrawal. The compounds in tea may also loosen plaque and reduce bad breath.