Foods to Make Over Your Smile

Find out which foods to eat to keep your mouth and smile healthy.

Sept. 28, 2010— -- A healthful diet can actually improve the health and appearance of your teeth to better showcase your smile.

Your diet should include foods that are rich in calcium, which helps maintain strong bones and teeth. Try low-fat milk, yogurt and cheeses. Studies show that eating aged cheese at the end of a meal can help prevent cavities, according to Other calcium-rich foods: kale and sardines.

Eat crisp fruits and vegetables. Apples, celery, cucumbers and carrots are natural cleansers, according to the Apples stimulate the gums and help reduce the build-up of plaque.

Vitamin C in citrus fruits boosts gum health. One large kiwi supplies more than 100 percent of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C. Other fruits like guava and papaya pack more vitamin C than an orange, according to Dr. Jim Sears.

Drink plenty of water. Tea is also a good source of fluoride.

Foods to Avoid

Equally important to what you do eat is what you don't. Avoid sugary foods and drinks that stick to the crevices of your teeth. Bacteria feed off the sugars and releases acids that cause cavities.

Avoid dried fruits, which tend to stick to the teeth.

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More Oral Hygiene Tips:

1. Maintain good oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day to get rid of the food debris and plaque that often lead to cavities and bad breath. Flossing is also a must. Toothbrushes cannot remove bacteria that gets trapped under your gums. Also, be sure to get your teeth cleaned by a dentist twice a year.

2. Treat existing oral diseases.

3. Clean your tongue while brushing your teeth.

4. Switch from coffee to tea.

5. Chew sugarless gum.

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