We know that our food choices have an effect on. . . pretty much everything. Our hair, our skin, our nails, our sleep, our mood, whether our skinny jeans are too tight. But our diet also has a significant impact on our smile. We’re not just talking about wine and coffee stains and green things stuck in our teeth-- although those don’t help matters. In this episode, “Today” show health expert Joy Bauer spells out the foods to avoid (dried fruits, bagels) and the items we should all be adding to our shopping list (salmon! peppers!) to keep our smiles healthy and, of course, extra white.
Milk is not the only food that’s full of calcium, although it should be on your list, obviously. Check out Joy Bauer’s healthy (and delicious) suggestions that will keep your pearly whites in top form:
Did you know that if you’re trying to avoid dairy, almond milk, rice milk, and soy milk are all fortified with the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as regular milk? Calcium helps to keep teeth and jawbones healthy and vitamin D helps our body absorb it.
This healthy fish is of the few foods naturally rich in vitamin D. If you don’t feel like turning on the stove or grill, Joy suggests an easy option: Mash a can of wild salmon with mayo, mustard, and minced onion. Yum.
This veggie is a terrific nondairy source of calcium, plus it has vitamin C, which has been proven to help prevent gum disease and gingivitis.
All colors -- green, yellow, orange, red -- are packed with vitamin C (see above). When they’re raw, they’re like nature's toothbrush. They stimulate your teeth, massage your gums and help dislodge debris before bacteria take hold.
Unsweetened green tea
Downing a cup after a meal will help remove debris stuck in your teeth plus the tea’s antioxidants may help reduce the risk of periodontal disease.
And then there's the what-not-to-eat list. Avoid supersugary beverages like soda, white starchy foods like bagels and pretzels, and dried fruit which can get stuck in your teeth and cause decay. If you do indulge in them, drink a glass of water or chew on a piece of sugarless gum to rid your mouth of debris.
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