Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. That means the foods and drinks you consume regularly can have a significant impact on your general health — your teeth and gums included.
Here are some simple nutritional guidelines that will benefit your oral health, as well as the overall health, of your whole family.
Recommended Diet for Healthy Teeth
To maintain a healthy mouth and body, make wise choices when it comes to your daily nutrition. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks, which can increase your risk for decay and gum disease. By eating more of the following foods that strengthen teeth and foods that clean your teeth, you can promote better health:
- • Drink plenty of water to rinse your mouth from debris and stay hydrated throughout the day.
- • Chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to protect the teeth, increase saliva flow and neutralize acid in the mouth. Ask your dentist about the best chewing gum for healthy teeth.
- • Eat a variety of tooth-friendly foods from each of the five major food groups:
- • Whole grains including whole-wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal are healthier than refined carbohydrates and offer added nutrients without the extra sugar.
- • Raw fruits and vegetables including crunchy carrots, celery and apples help stimulate saliva flow, which is a natural defense against decay. Other fruits and vegetable such as oranges and strawberries are high in vitamin C, which promotes healthy gums and quick healing.
- • Lean sources of protein such as beef, chicken and fish contain high amounts of phosphorous — an important mineral that helps promote enamel growth.
- • Low-fat dairy foods such as cheese and yogurt are full of calcium and vitamin D, which help keep the teeth healthy and strong while reducing acidity in the mouth.
Unhealthy Food Choices
Unfortunately, many of the foods we regularly consume have a negative impact on our oral health. You can help protect your teeth and mouth by practicing moderation if and when you consume the following:
- • Refined carbohydrates and starchy foods such as chips, bread and pasta turn into sugar as they are chewed, which increases the risk for decay.
- • Snacks like cookies, cakes or other sweet treats contain a high amount of cavity-causing sugar. The bacteria in our mouths converts the sugar from these foods into harmful acid that attacks the tooth enamel.
- • Sticky foods and candies such as dried fruit, jelly beans and caramel coat enamel, making it difficult to wash away with water or saliva.
- • Soda pop and sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar and are often carbonated, leading to enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Contact Schererville Family Dentistry Today
In addition to eating foods that are good for your teeth and food for healthy gums, many dental problems can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene — including brushing teeth twice a day, flossing daily and seeking regular care from your dentist. Always consult a dental professional with your oral health concerns. We are happy to help! Make an appointment with Schererville Family Dentistry today to learn more.