It’s important to brush and floss your teeth daily, but did you know there’s much more you can do to help support your smile staying strong and bright? The role proper nutrition plays in the health of your teeth and gums is an essential one because your teeth, just like your bones, need nutrients like calcium and other minerals and vitamins to be strong and healthy. This is one way healthy eating helps oral health.
The Cost of Poor Nutrition
A diet that lacks necessary vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients may not support healthy teeth and gums well. Poor nutrition can lead to bone loss in the jaw and brittle teeth and bones prone to breakage and cavities. Eating a diet with all the necessary nutrients is especially important for children and teens whose bones and teeth are still developing. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease.
Healthy eating helps oral health, because it may help prevent tooth decay.
A diet that is high in sugars, carbohydrates and starches can also cause further issues when sugars and other carbohydrates react with saliva and any plaque on the teeth to produce acid which can lead to tooth decay. Try to steer clear of candies, cookies, pastries, sodas and juices with added sugars, and if you want to enjoy these in moderation, be sure to drink plenty of water and brush afterward.
Variety is Key
Make sure to include nutrient rich foods from all the food groups when planning meals. Fruits and vegetables, dairy or fortified alternatives, grains, eggs, lean meat and fish, nuts and tofu contain nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins C and A that are essential for your teeth and gums and whole body health. A good rule to go by is to try to make your plate as colorful as possible with healthy whole foods.
One way healthy eating helps oral health, eating crunchy foods like apples, celery and raw carrots not only supplies good nutrients, but can also help to clean your teeth and massage your gums to increase circulation when you eat them.
Make it Fun
When talking about how healthy eating helps oral health, you may think you’ll miss out by avoiding foods that are bad for your teeth, but healthy eating isn’t only about avoidance. Healthy eating can be enjoyable and exciting as you begin to try new things and experience the variety of flavors and benefits of nutrient rich and whole foods. Consulting with your primary physician or a licenced dietician may also provide helpful advice as you discover a healthy and balanced diet to fit your lifestyle.
A fun idea to eat more healthy and improve your oral health could be to make a plan once a week to try a new recipe and include your family, a friend or roommates in your endeavor. Learning how healthy eating helps oral health can be fun and tasty!
Call our Pacific dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.