Some of us have been brought up on the belief that too much tea stains teeth. Petrified, I took to drinking wine and then they began saying that wine discolours your pearlies too! While it does make sense that what we eat determines how our teeth look but how do we go about discerning pro-teeth food from food that does your teeth a lot of harm? Research shows that for good dental health, it isn’t enough to just brush twice or floss. Wrong eating and hygiene habits can leave your teeth with indelible stains as well as brittle, eroded and prone to decay. Here’s what you can eat to ensure they remain white, strong and healthy –
- As a child, I was often reprimanded for eating sweets. Sugar is found in most food and it has become a major part of our meals, including snacks and drinks. So it isn’t only much how sugary the food we are eating is, it is also about how often are we consuming sugary stuff. Excess sugar is detrimental to dental health as it refuels plaque bacteria which then convert sugar to acid. This leads to subsurface tooth loss or even decay. Like in everything else, here too moderation is the key.
- Though fruits are considered one of the healthiest foods we can consume, they are high in sugar and some of them have high acidic content too, both known to harm dental health. Dental erosion happens when tooth enamel is dissolved by acidic foods or drinks. Saliva usually neutralises such acids but in case of excessive consumption, saliva proves fruitless. Refrain from eating such fruits too much or too often. Major culprits are fizzy drinks and fruit juices, with the ‘sugar-free’ options being equally harmful.
- The theory that claims tea and wine stain teeth is not unfounded after all. It is true, drinks such as tea, coffee and red wine can leave your pearl whites looking yellowish-brown, thanks to the presence Tannin in them.
- In the event of an acid attack (consumption of highly acidic food), there is a loss of calcium experienced by our teeth. Increased intake of calcium rich products such as milk and cheese can help replace lost calcium.
- Smoking is another major contributor to teeth staining as well as to bad breath problem.
- Though chewing sugar-free gum after a meal has its benefits (it encourages saliva production that helps neutralise acids), it isn’t a substitute for brushing teeth twice a day. Maintain basic hygiene by brushing twice a day, for two minutes each time, flossing and using mouth wash.