5 Surprising Foods for Healthy Teeth

If you’re trying to score top marks at your next dental appointment, in addition to your brushing and flossing regimen, the food you put in your mouth plays a crucial role for overall oral health.


We know that there are many foods that sneak into the diet that can damage teeth. Sugar is the main culprit, especially added, refined sugar. Any food that increases your intake of refined sugar can feed harmful bacteria to cause tooth decay. Other harmful foods include acidic beverages like sodas and sports drinks.
However, if you’re really trying to stay on top of your dental health, you want to make sure that you’re eating the right types of foods that assist your body in balancing and managing the oral environment. Here are five to add to your diet:

Garlic

Not only for warding off vampires, garlic is known for its antibacterial properties. Rich in the compound allicin, garlic prevents the activity of a wide range of bacteria that can cause imbalance in the oral environment. Adding some chopped garlic to your stir-fries or even raw garlic to your salads is a great way to ensure your mouth bacteria stay in check. Watch out, though! Garlic is notorious for causing bad breath.

Cloves


Widely cultivated in the traditional Spice Islands like Indonesia, cloves have been known for their antimicrobial properties for centuries. Their remarkable properties can be attributed to the rich source of eugenol and oleic acid.A powerful spice with a sweet kick, cloves can be used in a range of cooking, such as curries and soups. However, cloves are also particularly useful as a sugar replacement for desserts like spice cakes and muffins.

Turmeric


For many years, this rich, yellow-colored plant has been used in India, where it has been consumed in spice form for thousands of years. Long believed to be a remedy for problems in the mouth, we now know turmeric to have its antimicrobial activity because of its primary active component curcumin. Turmeric is an excellent addition to curries and cooked meats. It’s also great in your morning smoothie – simply add a teaspoon.

Butter


While we were long told that butter is bad for our heart and arteries, we now know that it’s one of the most nutrient-rich foods that humans can eat. Packed with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 (if raised from grass-fed cows), it’s also rich in calcium and conjugated linoleic acid, which is a booster of the immune system. You can add butter to nearly any meal; however, it’s important to limit the amount of heating during cooking as the smoke point may cause it to burn.

Green Tea


Steeped with a rich history in Chinese medicine where it was known for its wide-ranging health benefits, today there’s not much that green tea can’t do. Rich in the antioxidant EGCG, green tea has powerful antibacterial properties.

Are You Washing Your Face Wrong?


Washing your face is one of those basic beauty routines that you do when half asleep — literally. Rub, rinse, pat dry, and that’s it, right? Well, according to skin-care pros, if you really want to maintain a clear, glowing complexion, there’s a bit more to washing your face than a half-awake rinse.


1. Don’t ignore your hairline.

“Sometimes women don’t work their cleanser close enough to their hairline as they should because they don’t want to mess up their blowouts. You could get acne there if you don’t clean that area,” says Francesa Fusco, MD, a dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology in New York City. Slip on a wide headband to protect your edges and then be sure to massage your cleanser all the way out to your hairline to thoroughly get rid of makeup and gunk.


2. Use the right water temperature.

If your skin feels uncomfortably tight or not quite clean enough after you wash it, don’t be so quick to blame your cleanser. The problem might be your rinsing game. “Stick with lukewarm water when you rinse. Hot water dries out your skin, and cold water doesn’t remove dirt and oil as well,” says Debra Luftman, MD, a dermatologist in Calabasas, California and a Simple Advisory Board Member.

3.  Slow Down

For the best results, work your cleanser all over your skin in a circular motion with your fingertips. Start from your nose (where makeup is usually the heaviest) and go outward toward your hairline. Want to turn the whole process into a de-stressing mini-massage? Use an oil cleanser — it feels luxe on the skin and not at all greasy.


4. Give Your Cleanser an Assist

Creamy formulas are great for dry and sensitive skin types, but to whisk away heavy makeup (think stick foundation or an elaborate strobing job), it’s a good idea to follow up with a cleansing water to zap every last trace. Start by saturating a cotton pad with the liquid, and wipe it over one-half of your face. Then flip the pad over to its clean side and do the other half.

5. Rinse the Right Way

For healthy skin, the way you take off your cleanser is just as important as how you apply it — see tip no. 3. “When you’re rinsing, rub your fingers over areas where lather tends to accumulate, like the sides of your nose, your eyebrows, and near the hairline. Then once you think you’ve rinsed enough, splash three more times [for a thorough clean],” says Dr. Fusco.


6. Master the Art of Face Wipes

To avoid redistributing the very makeup you’re trying to get rid of, grab a cleansing cloth and take Dr. Luftman’s advice: “Start with one side of the face, wipe it from top to bottom, skipping the nose. Then turn the towelette over and repeat on the other side. Do your nose last — [but make sure you do a pinching motion as you go down the length of your nose] to avoid spreading bacteria onto your skin.”