NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS that much of the dental “wear and tear” we see today rarely existed prehistorically, and overly-processed diets may be partially to blame. While not all experts agree, some studies conclude that our modern-day teeth are just not getting the workouts they need.
Some Wear Is Natural And Even Beneficial
Harder foods eaten in moderation can help strengthen our teeth and gums. In fact, if all we ate were soft foods, our enamel could actually deteriorate. Hard foods can smooth the surfaces of our teeth, making them flatter. This can help more evenly distribute chewing force and can help protect our teeth. Yes it’s true… Our teeth need to work out. But there are proper and improper ways to strengthen our smiles. Let’s talk about a few dos and don’ts.
- Eat raw vegetables and fruit. There’s grinding and healthy resistance when you eat these kinds of foods—which can be strengthening. But it’s also gentle and less likely to cause damage.
- If you eat meat, eat tough meat once in a while—like a steak. According to the American Dental Association, the phosphorus in red meat also helps protect tooth enamel and bone. Each slice of sirloin provides a good, prolonged chew giving your teeth and gums some good exercise. Be sure to thoroughly chew each bite.
- Eat nuts, but eat them carefully. Our enamel is hard but it can fracture. Chew with caution.
- Try not to clench your jaw or grind your teeth. This can lead to microfractures.
- Never use your teeth to open packages, bottles, or to bite your nails. Using your teeth as scissors or a knife can damage your smile and your dental work. Biting your nails is not only unsanitary and potentially damaging, but it can also cause teeth to shift.
- Crunching on ice cubes is NOT a good idea. Let the ice cool your drink, not damage your smile.
A Fun, Vintage Video About Exercising Your Teeth
How Do You Strengthen Your Smile?
A balanced diet of hard and soft foods is one way to help strengthen your smile. Do you know of others? If so, please share them with us in the comments area below or on our Facebook page!