The popular saying, “You are what you eat,” reminds us that a healthy diet is important in order to keep our bodies healthy, vibrant, and energized. National Nutrition Month is a yearly initiative each March created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to educate individuals on healthy food choices. What we eat on a daily basis not only effects our general health, but also the health of our teeth and gums. In fact, the initial signs of poor nutrition can often first be seen in the mouth.
Healthy teeth aren’t just a result of daily toothbrushing and flossing…nutrition plays a major role, too! It is important to include a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups.
Here are some tips to help you make informed choices on foods and beverages that are tooth-friendly and heart-healthy:
- Be sure to educate your children about the benefits of eating smart and keeping hydrated with milk and water over sugary sodas and sports drinks. If consuming acidic foods or beverages, it is best to drink water immediately, but wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to avoid damaging your enamel since it is at a weakened state during this period. If you have an infant, only send them to sleep with water, as milk or juice can lead to baby bottle tooth decay.
- Find out your nutritional and calorie needs, based on your age, gender, amount of physical activity, and other health factors. A balanced diet should include:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Fruits and vegetables contain a high water and fiber content, which is beneficial for your teeth and body.
- Whole Grains
- Whole wheat bread
- Brown rice
- Dairy (low-fat or fat-free)
- Cheese, milk, and plain yogurt help keep your pearly whites strong!
- Lean beef
- Skinless poultry and fish
- Avoid foods that harm your dental health, including empty calorie foods like candy, sweet desserts and non-nutritional snacks. Foods and drinks high in sugar, starch, and carbohydrates, stick to tooth enamel and the bacteria within your mouth consume the sugar. In return the bacteria then release harmful acid that breaks down tooth enamel. It is best to limit your consumption of soda, juice, and sweetened coffee or tea, as these choices promote tooth decay. Not to mention, coffee, tea, and wine are big culprits of causing tooth staining.
- Nutrients including phosphorus, calcium, Vitamin D, and probiotics, help strengthen enamel and fight against tooth decay. Also, Vitamin C , found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes to name a few, helps promote gum health.
- Snacking between meals can expose your teeth to more sugar and acids, so it is best to limit snacking. If you do snack, make a conscious nutritious choice, such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, or nuts.
- In addition to eating healthy, make sure you are staying physically active for at least 1 hour a day.
- If you have medical conditions including gastrointestinal reflux or an eating disorder, your risk of cavities and enamel erosion may be higher.
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or email@example.com to set up an appointment and consultation.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Derek. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Stephens would be more than willing to help.