Seven hacks to get your pearly whites shin­ing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HEALTH - By RICHARD JONES

We all know to brush our teeth be­fore bed (don’t we?), and we prob­a­bly know that there are a few things to avoid if we want pearly whites — even if it doesn’t mean we re­duce our cof­fee in­take. But did you know there’s a small pill that could pro­tect them fur­ther?

Say hello to as­pirin. Re­searchers at Queen’s Uni­ver­sity Belfast have now found that the pain re­lief med­i­ca­tion can “sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease” the re­build­ing of min­er­als which re­stores strength to our gnash­ers — re­vers­ing the ef­fects of tooth de­cay and less­en­ing the need for fill­ings.

What’s more, it’s not the only way we can help our teeth stay healthy be­sides a squeeze of the old flu­o­ride tube.

Nor­mally a men­ace on crys­tal white ten­nis kits at Wim­ble­don, it turns out that straw­ber­ries can ac­tu­ally whiten our teeth (even if they’ll cause more stains on that shirt of yours, Mr Fed­erer). The fruit con­tains malic acid which has been proven to pre­vent and re­move stains — on our teeth. Just crush them up and add to bak­ing soda to form a paste and hey presto — straw­berry tooth­paste.

An an­cient medic­i­nal tech­nique that orig­i­nated in In­dia, swish­ing oil around in the mouth (sun­flower or sesame) for twenty min­utes can re­move stains from your teeth and make them nice and shiny again. The oil at­tracts and re­moves bac­te­ria in the mouth and dis­solves plaque and tar­tar on your teeth.

Chew­ing gum — the su­gar free kind ob­vi­ously — stim­u­lates the pro­duc­tion of saliva, which is na­ture’s way of help­ing you to wash away all the left­over food that gets stuck in the crevices of your pearly whites. Most gum also con­tains xyl­i­tol — a nat­u­ral sweet­ener — which helps to neu­tralise acid­ity and stop bac­te­ria from stick­ing to the sur­face of your teeth. Plus it gives you minty fresh breath just to com­plete the hat-trick.

STRAW­BER­RIES

SUN­FLOWER OIL

CHEW­ING GUM

BASIL

The herb can be in­cred­i­bly use­ful for treat­ing teeth dis­or­ders. It’s a good rem­edy for treat­ing bleed­ing gums as its an­tibac­te­rial prop­er­ties can re­duce the ef­fect of harm­ful bac­te­ria in your mouth. It also helps safe­guard against other den­tal prob­lems like toothaches and pus or pain in the gums. For use, dry the leaves in the sun, be­fore crush­ing into a pow­der and stir­ring in with sun­flower oil.

GREEN TEA

A study this year of 940 Ja­panese men aged 49 to 59, found that those who con­sumed more green tea were likely to have health­ier gums and teeth as a re­sult. The key to this den­tal suc­cess is in the an­tiox­i­dant cat­e­chin that can be found in the re­lax­ing brew. Cat­e­chin is an anti-in­flm­ma­tory that acts against pe­ri­odon­tal dis­ease, a chronic in­flam­ma­tory dis­ease that af­fects the gums and bones sup­port­ing the teeth.

At over 75 per cent dark choco­late can con­tain a myr­iad of health ben­e­fits, not least keep our oral health in check. You see, dark choco­late con­tains the com­pound tan­nin which re­lieves in­flam­ma­tion of gums and tooth ero­sion, de­creases acid pro­duc­tion in our mouth, and by way of all of this, re­duces the risk of plaque build up and tooth de­cay. It is also high in polyphe­nols which are able to neu­tral­ize micro­organ­isms that cause bad breath. Quite the su­per­food in­deed.

DARK CHOCO­LATE

LIVER

Liver is one of the most nu­tri­ent dense foods you can eat so un­sur­pris­ingly it is rich in both Vi­ta­min A and D which are both im­por­tant tools in the bat­tle against tooth de­cay and poor oral hy­giene. Vi­ta­min A is a po­tent an­tiox­i­dant that helps pre­vent gum dis­ease while Vi­ta­min D in­creases the body’s abil­ity to cal­cify and min­er­al­ize the teeth and bones. And if foie gras isn’t ex­actly your en­tree of choice, try cod liver oil cap­sules in­stead.

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