Eat Your Way to a Healthy Smile

You might be surprised that what’s good for your waistline isn't necessarily good for your oral health. In fact, every time you eat, you strengthen the bacteria that call your mouth a home.

What’s more, the sweeter the food, the faster the bacteria multiply in your mouth. That’s why a bar of chocolate or a soft drink isn’t a great between-meal choice. But even nutritious options can get stuck in crevices and keep the acid production going long after you’ve swallowed your last bite.

Here we show the top 4 snacks that are healthiest for your smile.

Super-snack No. 1: Apples

Healthy Mouth Boost: Apples and other cruciferous fruits and veggies act as natural tooth cleaners by scrubbing stubborn stains and plaque off your pearly whites.
Waistline Bonus: In a recent study at Pennsylvania State University, when people had an apple before a pasta lunch, they ate almost 800 fewer kilojoules than those who drank apple juice, ate applesauce or had nothing beforehand. So instead of digging straight into your lunch or dinner, enjoy an apple as an appetiser.

Super-snack No. 2: Kiwi and Red Capsicums

Healthy Mouth Boost: Along with guava and strawberries, these snacks are vitamin C superstars, and skimping on vitamin C can contribute to bleeding gums and loose teeth. According to the Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), symptoms of scurvy start to show if an adult consumes less than 7 to 8 mg of vitamin C a day (about one quarter of an orange). The NHMRC recommends that adults have 45 mg of vitamin C (equivalent to an average-sized kiwi fruit) a day.
Waistline Bonus: In a study at Arizona State University, people who took a vitamin C supplement burned more fat during exercise than those who were deficient. Try fuelling up before your workout with red capsicum strips.

Super-snack No. 3: Fortified cereal

Healthy Mouth Boost: Yogurt and cheese are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for healthy teeth and a strong jawbone, but if dairy doesn’t agree with you, munch on your favourite fortified cereal. (Check the ingredient list for calcium content.) A study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that women who consumed less than 500 milligrams of calcium per day had a 54 percent higher risk of periodontal disease than those who got 800 milligrams or more daily.
Waistline Bonus: According to French researchers, women with low-calcium diets have more body fat, bigger waistlines and a higher level of unhealthy cholesterol than those who consume moderate or high amounts of the mineral.

Super-snack No. 4: Eggs

Healthy Mouth Boost: Hard boiled, scrambled or in an omelette, eggs are a good choice for oral health. But don’t skip the yolk -- it’s an important source of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. The yolk also provides iron, too little of which can lead to sores on your tongue and inside your mouth.
Waistline Bonus: Eggs are the breakfast of champions when it comes to staying slim -- research shows they keep you full all day long. British research has found that a medium-sized egg contains a third of the recommended daily intake of cholesterol, and a Surrey University study found that eating one or two eggs for breakfast could help with weight loss because the protein in eggs keeps you feeling full for longer.

By Ella Brooks for Oral Care and Health Daily

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