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By Jarone Ashkenazi
The universal icon of happiness :-) was created by Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts in 1963. The symbol soon became so popular that Ball became concerned about the over-commercialization of his symbol and feared that it had lost its original meaning and intent.
According to Dr. Jonathan Levine, DMD and the Edison award winning-product inventor behind GLO Science, “maintaining great oral health is about more than just brushing and flossing daily; it is also important to incorporate a healthy diet as well.” Your mouth is a cesspool for bacteria fluctuating between an acidic and alkalizing environment depending on the food that you eat. Bacteria thrive in acidic environments, anything lower than a pH of seven, “which the majority of us tend to have due to the overabundance of protein that we eat.” As such, people must eat foods that alkalize, or neutralize, this toxic environment, and a “good rule of thumb is to aim for a diet that is 75 percent alkalizing and 25 percent acidifying.”
Rene Ficek, Registered Dietitian and Lead Dietitian Nutritionist at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating, adds that certain crunchy fruits and vegetables, “have enough abrasiveness to clean tooth surface without posing any harm to the enamel. This abrasive action can lift stains from teeth and help them appear whiter. One more reason to eat your fruits and vegetables!”
Furthermore, it is very important to drink water throughout the day. According to Dr. Timothy Chase, the leading Cosmetic Dentist and Practicing Partner at SmilesNY, “not only does water help rinse food particles from the mouth, but it also helps restore the natural PH. In addition, water keeps you hydrated, which helps in the production of saliva that keeps the mouth healthy and clean.”
Enough about the science. Here are some smile-friendly foods:
1. Wine and cheese.
The two together make for a perfect pair; the calcium in cheese creates a film over teeth to protect from the acid in wine.
Not only an aphrodisiac! High in folic acid, strawberries naturally exfoliate and cleanse the teeth.
The enzyme bromelain in pineapples acts as a natural stain remover because of its ability to break up plaque. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that can erode the enamel of your teeth and lead to dental caries.
4. Crunchy fruits and veggies.
Apples, carrots, and celery exfoliate the surface of your teeth, helping to whiten teeth by scrubbing stains away.
5. Chicken and eggs.
Both are great alkalizing protein choices that promote a healthy mouth.
Almonds, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseed all have an alkalizing effect on the body and are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which aid in the prevention of gum disease.
The only sweetener that not only has an alkalizing effect on your body but is also all natural, as it is derived from the Stevia plant. It also stunts bacteria growth in the mouth.
Yes you heard that right. Dr. Sivan Finkel, NYC cosmetic dentist at The Dental Parlour, says that a, “chemical found in dark chocolate is not only safer, but is also a more effective choice for your teeth than fluoride.” He adds that the sweet treat actually strengthens “enamel and ward off tooth decay” while studies show that chocolate is also “effective at fighting cavities and dental plaque in the mouth.”
So make sure to incorporate a “diet that is full of fruits and vegetables as well as foods that have high pH levels as they will reflect greatly on your mouth. Be conscious of what you’re putting into your body and make a smile-friendly food choice for every smile-challenging food that you eat.” concludes Dr. Levine.
Treat yourself to one of the smile-friendly foods above and show off those pearly whites!
Jarone is a YourTango Expert and author. Connect with him at his website.
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