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02/03/15

Say please: How to help keep your teeth pearly white

Consumers spend millions of dollars every year on everything from whitening toothpastes to trays and strips in the hope that they can turn that hundred dollar smile into a million dollar one.
The best way to keep your teeth white doesn't start with any of the aforementioned, although those products certainly help a little, but rather with the mindset that you're going to avoid foods and drinks to make sure your smile stays intact before you have to invest hard earned money in related products.
So how exactly can you keep your teeth white without filling your medicine chest or bathroom vanity with one whitening item after another?
Obviously, you want to avoid drinks that have artificial color in them or are known for staining teeth. Drinks like tea and coffee always are pushed to the forefront when the discussions are broached. You also can lump soda in that group as well.
But the big drink misconception as it relates to your teeth is that only dark colored drinks are bad, but sugar and sugary drinks in general eat away at the enamel in your teeth when they mix with your saliva. Once you realize that sugary is the enemy, you can plan your drinks accordingly with such choices as water, sparkling drinks without a lot of sodium or juices that limit the amount of sugary included in the ingredients.

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Food also is a culprit in addition to drinks, although the latter often is more associated with bad teeth and a less than enviable, white smile. Some foods you want to avoid are anything in the dried fruit category or anything else that might stick to your teeth even after you brush your teeth several times. Again, it goes back to the sugar component of what you're eating.
Sugar also rears its ugly head with foods such as breads and anything else in the complex carbohydrate family. Foods like these can't always be avoided (such as white bread for your favorite sandwich or alongside that spaghetti dinner), but you should try to limit them in the hopes of preserving that pearly white smile and not finding yourself front and center in the dentist chair while he or she scrapes the plaque off your teeth.
The other option, of course, is to ignore the preventative measures and be just another customer who spends way too much on products that can easily have been afforded with better food and drink choices for your teeth.

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