5 Foods that are good for your teeth

We recently looked at 7 foods that can cause tooth decay but thankfully not all foods are bad for your teeth.  Some foods can actually be good for your teeth and help to protect them.  The challenge for many of us is to ensure we eat more of these good foods and less of the bad foods.  Easier said than done in most occasions, but below we take a look at 5 foods that can help protect tooth enamel and contribute to a good level of dental health.

Foods that are good for your teeth

5 Foods that your teeth are happy to deal with

1. Strawberries

Strawberries like most fruit and veg can be great for your teeth.  Strawberries are a super fruit that bring many health benefits to your body including added fibre and promoting eye and bone health.  Strawberries are also a good source of potassium and malic acid.  Malic acid is a natural enamel whiter that can help give you a whiter smile.  While it will not get you the same results as teeth whitening (very little will), crush strawberries to a pulp, add it to baking soda and spread on your teeth.  Brush it off and rinse with water.

2. Green vegetables

Green vegetables like spinach, green beans, Brussel sprouts and peas are great for your food because they are high in fibre.  High fibre foods are great for your teeth because they require more chewing to break them down.  This chewing helps to create saliva which plays a big role in protecting your teeth against tooth decay.  Try to add green vegetables to your diet.  Other high fibre foods include dried fruits like dates, raisins and apricots.

3. Milk and cheese

It’s not only your bones that need calcium but also your teeth.  Calcium is a key component in helping to strengthen teeth enamel as it is a key ingredient in hydroxyapatite.  Dairy products like milk and cheese are the best way to add calcium to your diet and as calcium plays such a big role in helping fight tooth decay, be sure to add dairy to your diet.  If you can’t take dairy produce, foods like kale, broccoli and figs are a great source of calcium.

4. Water

Water can act much like saliva and be a great way to protect your teeth from decay by washing away sugars and acid that build up on teeth over time.  Water is also a good source of fluoride and fluoride is something that also helps to protect your teeth.  It is recommended that you consume around 2 litres of water a day.  This will help improve your dental health with the added fluoride.  Try to drink a glass of water with a meal and be sure to use fluoride based toothpaste morning and night.

5. Sugar-free chewing gum

Last on our list is sugar-free chewing gum and it’s important to ensure you opt for sugar-free gum.  As we’ve already identified, saliva is naturally produced in your mouth to help wash away sugar and acids left over from bad foods.  Chewing gum helps to stimulate this saliva and certain sugar-free gums will also contain calcium and phosphate, two minerals that further help strengthen your teeth.  Chew sugar-free gum between meals if you aren’t able to wash your teeth or access mouthwash.

Remember the importance of fibre and calcium for your teeth

These are just some of the foods that can help you maintain a better level of dental health.  As a general rule, foods that are high in fibre and calcium are much better for your food than those high in sugars and carbohydrates.  Getting as much fruit and vegetable into your diet will not only benefit your teeth but also the rest of your body.  Maintaining a balanced diet and a good level of general health and fitness will also benefit your teeth.

5 Big reasons why adults suffer from gum disease

Cosmetic Dentistry Northern IrelandGum disease is anything but a pleasant experience and while it can be caused by a number of factors, it is mainly poor oral hygiene that is the leading factor.  Gum disease effects your overall dental health and can lead to problems with your teeth including tooth decay and in some cases even loss of teeth.  Today we’re going to look at some of the main causes of gum disease and what you should be looking out for to ensure it doesn’t happen to you.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease can be a swelling, infection or general soreness of the tissues in the gum that surround your teeth.  There are two types of gum disease; gingivitis and periodontal disease.  Gingivitis is when your gums become inflamed and swollen and can become very red.  This will often lead to bleeding of the gums and if your gums are regularly bleeding this can be an early sign that you have gum disease.

Periodontal gum disease is a more long-term case of gingivitis which affects the gum tissues connecting your teeth to your jaw.  If this remains untreated then your teeth may become loss and this is when they could fall out.

So what exactly causes gum disease and how can you avoid it?

5 Things that can cause gum disease

1. Smoking

One of the most common causes of gum disease is smoking.  Not only does smoking stain and age the look of your teeth but it can also harm the health of your gums.  Those of you who smoke are also more likely to be suffer from periodontal gum disease, so cutting down on your nicotine intake, or quitting smoking altogether will be a big bonus for your oral hygiene and reduce the risk of gum disease.

2. Stress

Stress is something that can cause many health problems including blood pressure and heart related problems.  Stress can also lead to gum disease as it can make it harder for the body to fight of infection.  This means that if your gums become infected, high stress levels can help this infection develop into a more troublesome gum disease.

3. Age

As you get older it’s important that you try to visit your dentist on a much more regular basis.  Teething problems can become more common as you get older and this is also the case with gum disease which also becomes more common, particularly those aged 65 and over.

4. Family history

Gum disease can also occur if there is a history of the disease within your family.  It can be passed on by genetics from generation to generation, so if there is a history of gum disease in your family, be sure to visit your dentist on a regular basis.

5. Your diet

Malnutrition can also lead to gum disease.  This means that a diet that is not getting the necessary nutrients into your body will leave your more susceptible to things like gum disease.  Foods high in vitamins A, C and D are good for your teeth and gums so try to include these in your diet on a regular basis.  Fresh fruit and vegetable in particular should be part of a regular healthy diet to ensure healthy teeth and gums, along with foods high in calcium like milk.

Dealing with gum disease

A build-up of bacteria in your mouth will lead to plaque which can result in gum disease.  Bacteria can be caused by all of the reasons mentioned above so it’s important to try and deal with these problems before they get worse.

The best way to avoid gum disease is to ensure you practice good oral hygiene.  This means regular brushing and flossing of your teeth, and using a mouthwash to help clean your gums as well as your teeth.

If you have gum problems its best you contact your dentist immediately.  If your gum problems become worse then you may require immediate dental treatment on your gums including periodontal therapy or gum crafting.

For more information on dealing with gum disease, get in touch with our team of dental experts today to arrange a free consultation.

What to Eat to Fight Bad Breath

Your dentist in Belfast can help you combat issues with oral health. There are many possible causes for bad breath. Most commonly, it’s in the food that we eat; although sometimes, underlying medical conditions cause it. Most people cannot brush constantly to keep their breath fresh. Fortunately, there’s a way around this condition: eat more.

Here is a list of foods that you can eat to combat bad breath.

Dentist in BelfastCitrus fruits

Remember how sparkling water in restaurants comes with wedges of lemons or other citrus fruits? Those are not just garnishes; they can help you freshen up after that tasty meal. Lemons, in particular, have a high amount of acid and vitamin C that kill off any bad odour that is in your mouth. Lemon-flavoured candy works well too.

Green garnishes

Now this is another food that you can spot in restaurant dishes, especially in garlicky pastas. Garnishes of parsley, rosemary, and basil do more than just provide some aroma in your meal – they also give you an instant breath freshener. These herbs have natural oils that help in ridding the mouth of bacteria.

The classic mint sprig also helps your mouth become fresher, as well as chewing gum containing xylitol.

Crunchy spices

For those with well-stocked pantries, a mix of crunchy spices can also become a breath freshener. Equal parts of coriander, fennel seeds, cardamom, and anise helps your mouth release the oils to remove the scent of your morning coffee or lunchtime curry. Cinnamon sticks work nicely in squelching some oral bacteria in your mouth.

Crisp foods

If you love munching on crisp, fresh foods, you can use that to make your breath smell good. Pears, apples, jicama, and carrots are all fibre-rich, not to mention that chewing on these improves saliva production. As a result, your mouth experiences a scrubbing rinse from all the water of these foods.

Yogurt

Yogurt can prevent you from having bad breath. When you consume half a cup of yogurt – the plain, sugar-free one – you lower the levels of hydrogen sulphide in your mouth. Hydrogen sulphide is what emits that sulphuric, rotten egg smell.

Diet, however, can only go so far. There are cases when halitosis is much worse that eating these foods can no longer keep it at bay. At Blue Sky Dentistry, we can help you achieve a beautiful smile and maintain your oral health at the same time. Contact us to know more about our services.