Kick your summer off right with a new menu of delicious foods. Fruits and vegetables are ripening with the weather, providing a range of fresh, healthy options to add to your plate. Since your body's health and your mouth's health are connected, check out these smile-friendly summer food ideas:
You don't have to stay hydrated with just water this summer - you can eat the H2O, too. On top of packing skin-protecting lycopene, watermelon consist of 92 percent water, which dilutes the sugars the fruit contains and stimulates the flow of saliva, helping protect teeth from anaerobic bacteria. Plus, with everyone slimming down into their beach bodies, watermelon might be able to help out. Research indicates that eating foods full of water helps keep people feel satisfied on fewer calories.
Juicy and plump, strawberries have one of nature's bleaching agents as an "ingredient". They contain malic acid, a natural enamel whitener. In this way, the astringent in strawberries effectively works to remove surface stains on your teeth. If you feel any of the seeds stuck in your teeth, it's not a bad idea to keep some floss nearby. The red fruit also packs antioxidants and vitamin C that promote eye health, help fight bad cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.
Get out the cheese platter. Not only does this dairy boast cavity-fighting calcium, it has casein, a protein found in milk that fortifies the tooth's surface. Studies have shown that cheese raises levels of dental plaque pH, which defends against tooth decay. Try out aged parmesan as a great remedy for acid exposure.
Thanks to its fibrous consistency, pears make for a smile-worthy snack that stimulates saliva production. In this way, they lower plaque levels in the mouth and provide a buffer for teeth against harmful acids. However, you may want to skip the dried fruit, since they're known to be sticky and sugary.
Often regarded as "dental detergents," apples are water-rich. They have tons of fiber that provide a scrubbing effect, cleaning the surface of your teeth as you eat them. The fruit also dislodges newly formed dental plaque. For maximum teeth-cleaning benefits, rinse your mouth out with water afterward.
Throw in a stick of gum after meals to loosen food debris from teeth and spur saliva flow. Chewing gum that contains xylitol has been recognized by the American Dental Association to lower the risk of dental caries (cavities).