When most people start a new diet, it’s to help them lose weight or regain their youthful figure. For others, however, starting a new diet has a different goal, such as attaining a healthier, more dazzling smile. Fortunately, most diets that are good for the teeth are also good for the body, so if you want to do both—get in shape and improve the appearance of your smile—you can, and by only adhering to one régime.
Better Health Begins With Better Choices
The key to better health is really no secret, as any health professional will tell you. Dr. George Hatzigiannis, an advocate for quality and affordable oral health care in underprivileged communities, recommends simply thinking before you eat. After all, food and beverages either have nutritional value or they don’t, and they’re either good for you or they’re not. Foods high in sugars and acids almost always have a negative effect on both the smile and your waistline, as do foods and beverages that are sticky, chewy, crunchy, salty, or, in general, delightfully, unhealthily delicious. If you steer clear of foods that are each of those things, you may notice a drastic increase in your overall health.
Smile Friendly Foods
Smile friendly foods don’t have to lack flavor. In fact, if you buy the right items and get creative with your concoctions, you may just discover that healthy eats actually taste better than sugar-laden, preservative-loaded snacks. Some foods to incorporate into your diet include the following:
- Calcium Rich Foods: Calcium fortifies the bones, something that most people learn at a young age. However, while most kids drink milk and eat dairy products to build strong bones, most adults forgo dairies because of their “fattening” side effects. There IS a way to eat dairy and other calcium rich foods without putting on weight. Drink low-fat or fat-free milk, eat natural yogurts and cheeses, opt for tofu instead of beef, and drink fortified soy drinks. Calcium is also abundant in almonds, salmon, and dark leafy greens.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is another ingredient that is good for the smile. This vitamin can be found in tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, broccoli, potatoes, and spinach. However, if you choose to make citrus your vitamin C source, keep servings to a minimum, as the acids found in citrusy fruits is harmful to the teeth.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is also great for building and maintaining strong teeth and bones. This element is found in lean meats such as chicken and pork, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, and dairy.
As you can see, you don’t have to cut out whole and savory foods just to achieve a better smile. You can still eat your chicken, pork, yogurt, and nuts without fear of hurting your teeth or your health. In addition to being great for your smile, these items, when eaten on a daily basis, can also do wonders for your figure, your complexion, and your hair.
Foods To Avoid
Of course, you won’t notice any positive effects of eating good foods if you continue to eat the bad. Mouthhealthy.org shares nine foods that can have a damaging effect on your smile, no matter how healthy you eat otherwise. Some of those foods are as follows:
- Excessive amounts of citrus
- Excessive amounts of coffee
- Excessive amounts of alcohol
- Sticky foods
- Crunchy foods
- Soda and other carbonated beverages
- Sports drinks or drinks with a lot of sugar
Eating better can have many positive effects on your health and overall appearance. If losing weight isn’t your M.O., at least vow to eat healthier for your smile. Your smile, if you care for it, can last your entire lifetime, which is more than what most people can say.