Everyone knows that coffee, tea, and red wine can stain teeth and lead to decay over time. However, are there any foods and drinks that are actually good for our teeth?
The answer is yes! If you’re interested in becoming a dental hygienist, you will be responsible for keeping clients’ teeth clean and healthy. While healthy teeth aren’t always white, clients are increasingly looking to make their smiles whiter and brighter. Whitening products and treatments are becoming increasingly popular. More than $1 billion is spent on retail teeth whitening strips around the world each year. Read on to discover some of the foods that you might be able to recommend to clients that ask if there are any ways to naturally whiten their teeth by changing their diet.
Professionals with Dental Hygienist Training Might Know Strawberries Help Smiles
Despite their bright red colour, strawberries can actually help clients achieve a whiter smile. This is because they contain an enzyme called ‘malic acid,’ which can make people produce more saliva—strawberries are literally mouth-watering! As you might learn in dental hygienist training, saliva acts as a natural cleaning agent in the mouth, so any foods that help produce more saliva will help to whiten teeth over time.
Crunchy Foods like Apples, Celery, and Green Beans Can Improve Gum Health
Foods that have some crunch—like apples, celery, and green beans—are great for your teeth and gums. Like strawberries, these foods can make you produce more saliva, which can improve your oral health and result in cleaner teeth. This is partly because they require more ‘crunch’ before digestion, meaning they are in your mouth for longer, so more saliva is produced. If you become a dental hygienist, you might want to know why saliva is so good for us. Saliva contains minerals and antibacterial agents that neutralize the acidity of the mouth and strengthen tooth enamel.
As well as this, saliva cleans the teeth of any food debris that may be left between the teeth after eating. Crunchy foods can also help to improve gum health, as chewing these foods encourages blood flow to the gums.
Calcium-Rich Foods like Yoghurt, Milk, and Hard Cheese Help Teeth
As any aspiring dental professional knows, dairy is good for teeth. The lactic acid in dairy products helps to strengthen teeth and protect them. These calcium-rich foods are especially important for younger clients that need to grow strong and healthy bones and teeth.
The protein in dairy products is thought to bind to teeth and protect them against attack. Both hard and soft cheese can help to improve oral health. However, hard cheese has the added benefit of removing food particles as you eat.
Do you want to make clients smile with a dental hygiene career?
Contact the Canadian Academy of Dental Health and Community Sciences today!