There’s certainly something very attractive and youthful about a big, healthy smile, and yet so many people underestimate the importance of proper oral care. You may not think of oral care as something you need to worry about when looking for anti-aging advice, but the truth is your mouth needs just as much attention as the rest of your body as you get older.
Oral care is about more than flossing and brushing your teeth. While these are certainly essential steps, the food you eat can also have a big impact on oral health. Here’s the anti-aging advice you need to know to achieve that flawless, youthful-looking smile.
Anti-Aging Advice About What to Eat
• Crunchy fruits and vegetables: In addition to serving as great anti-aging advice for your diet, crunchy fruits and veggies, like carrots, celery, and apples, are good for your mouth, too. Because these foods require quite a bit of chewing, they stimulate more saliva flow in the mouth, which helps to protect against cavities, prevent gum disease, and neutralize the enzymes that would otherwise attack your teeth. The crunchy texture can also help to prevent plaque buildup by cleaning teeth while you chew.
• Cheese and other dairy products: Cheese is another food that helps to generate saliva. Plus, dairy products are high in calcium, which is good for restoring the minerals in your teeth. Furthermore, a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association showed that drinking milk after eating dry, sugary cereal (like Fruit Loops) reduced acid levels in the mouth, which can help to prevent tooth decay.
• Green tea: This drink is always being touted for its long list of health benefits, and now you can add oral health to that list. Green tea contains compounds called polyphenols, which can help to slow bacteria growth in the mouth that’s associated to gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay. Black tea can be effective, too, as it’s been shown in studies to help fight bad breath and reduce plaque thickness and buildup.
• Water: Staying hydrated is included in anti-aging advice for everything from skin care to fitness, so it’s no wonder that water is good for oral health, too. Swishing water around your mouth helps to get rid of the bacteria that lead to plaque.
Anti-Aging Advice About What to Avoid
• Sugar: If there’s one piece of anti-aging advice you’re going to take away from all this, it’s that sugar is one of the worst things for oral health. When you eat a lot of sugar, the bacteria in your mouth counteracts with it to create acids that can destroy the enamel on your teeth, thereby leading to inflamed gums, cavities, and eventually tooth decay. Chewy or sticky candy is even worse, because the sugar lingers on your teeth and gums where it slowly eats away at oral health.
• Sports Drinks: Studies have shown that the high acidity level in sports drinks can lead to erosion of your teeth’s enamel. And it doesn’t help that these beverages, as well as soda, are very high in sugar, which we’ve already established can be detrimental to achieving a healthy smile.
• Highly Acidic Foods: While citrus fruits might be good for your diet, they can be painful for people who have sensitive teeth. The high acid content can wear away at tooth enamel, putting your sensitive teeth at a higher risk of decaying. That being said, you can still enjoy citrus fruits by following these three pieces of anti-aging advice: after eating or drinking something acidic, rinse your mouth out thoroughly with water, chew on sugar-free gum, and wait a while before brushing.
• Alcohol: The problem with alcohol, with respects to oral health, is that it dries out your mouth, which means less saliva, which means less protection against harmful bacteria and decay.
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