A Sweet Smile, Minus the Sugar
Last National Day, Singapore united against sugar. But sugar isn’t the only thing that harms your smile. Ahead of this National Day, we round up the 3 best and 3 worst food for your teeth.
It wasn’t too long ago when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong famously denounced sugar in what seemed like the start of a national battle against obesity (which could lead to diabetes and, quite literally, a rotten smile). But sugar isn’t the only food that can ruin your smile. Let us walk you through the three worst things you can subject your teeth to, and our recommended alternatives.
1. Say No to: Potato chips
It’s hard to resist the oh-so-satisfying crunch of potato chips, and even harder to stop at one. Unfortunately, as you munch on potato chips, tiny bits get stuck into the crevices of your teeth. Your saliva comes along, and breaks down the starch into sugar, which we already know wreaks havoc on your oral health.
2. Say Yes to: Celery, carrots and cucumber
Instead, load up on the crunch factor with veggies like celery, carrots and cucumber. These crunchy veggies require you to chew more, and this in turn produces more saliva. Saliva production is a good thing because saliva functions as your personal mouthwash, breaking down food particles in teeth and gums and fighting cavities.
3. Say No to: Whole almonds
Ok, you’re probably thinking, ‘Whaaaat?!’ and we hear you. Almonds are superfood-grade, diet-friendly snacks thanks to their vitamin E and healthy fat content. The reason they’re on the no-no list is because they’re (too) hard. Yes, chewing is good, but crunching can do battle with your pearly whites. The hard texture and shape of whole almonds puts tons of stress on your teeth — so much so that you could fracture your teeth! As an alternative, snack on thin, almond silvers or get your healthy fat fix elsewhere…
4. Say Yes to: Fatty fish
Specifically, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Wild-caught salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines are packed with good stuff that your teeth love, like phosphorous for healthy teeth enamel, and vitamin D for better calcium absorption. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been found to reduce the risk of gum disease.
5. Say No to: Soda and sports drinks
You may think that we’re pointing out the obvious with this one since you already know that soda and sports drinks are a sugary nightmare for your teeth. But that’s not all. Carbonated drinks and sports drinks are also highly acidic. They erode your teeth enamel, which is a really bad thing because you need enamel to protect your teeth from decaying — and enamel doesn’t grow back.
6. Say Yes to: Dairy drinks
Water ranks equally high, of course, but if you’re looking for a tastier option, dairy is the way to go. Dairy drinks like milk and yoghurt not only contain calcium and phosphorous, but also proteins called caseins. These combine to create a force field around your enamel to protect your teeth against decay caused by bacterial acids. In case you’re wondering, we did consider coffee and tea, but even without added sugar, caffeinated drinks (and alcohol, for that matter) tend to dry out your mouth — and we’ve already highlighted the importance of saliva production.
Strong, healthy teeth is the foundation of a great smile. When your teeth are in tip-top shape, your dentist has more freedom to create the smile you want, whether by fixing crooked teeth or polishing them to a pearly white sheen.
If teeth-straightening is something you’re considering, you won’t want to miss i.Dental’s Invisalign Day on 8 September 2018! Admission is $21.40, inclusive of consultation and goodie bag. You’ll even get to see how your teeth will look like with the latest 3D simulation software iTero Element 2 and enjoy an attendee-exclusive package for your Invisalign journey. Sign up now!