When it comes to the health of your teeth, what do you think about doing? If your first thought is brushing and flossing, those are two great ways to keep your pearly whites healthy and strong, but what about the food you eat? Have you ever considered how the foods and drinks you consume can affect your oral health? Since March is National Nutrition Month, let’s hear from a dentist in Allen who’ll discuss which foods are best and which ones to avoid in the battle for healthy teeth.
Good vs. Bad Foods: What To Eat and What Not to Eat
You know that in order to maintain good overall health, you should make wise decisions when it comes the type and amount of food you eat, right? If you want your waistband to keep from growing bigger, you need to practice a combination of both exercise and healthy eating. But what about ensuring your oral health stays on track?
The ingredients that make up our food can either promote or wreak havoc on your teeth. While sugar and carbs can lead to tooth decay and cavities, foods that are rich in vitamin C and calcium can strengthen enamel and boost the health of your gums. Making the right choices when it comes to the foods and drinks you consume is vital to maintaining good oral health.
Here is a sample breakdown of the foods that get a “thumbs up,” vs. those that get a big “thumbs down.”
The Good Foods
If you want to strengthen your tooth enamel, stimulate your gums, flush out the bacteria, and shrink your waistband, here are some healthy options:
- Cheese: It lowers the risk of tooth decay and increases saliva production to rinse away bacteria. The calcium and protein it contains also helps to support strong enamel.
- Yogurt: Filled with calcium, protein, and probiotics (good bacteria), it will provide beneficial to your gums. Good bacteria can knock out bad bacteria that causes cavities.
- Leafy greens: Full of vitamins and minerals, these low-calorie options contain folic acid, vitamin B, and calcium that are beneficial to preventing gum disease in pregnant women.
- Fruit: Most fruits and vegetables are healthy options, but they do contain a certain amount of sugar. Apples are great because they’re high in fiber and water. Eating an apple will increase saliva production, washing out bacteria, and the texture helps to stimulate your gums.
- Vegetables: Carrots and celery are just two of many great vegetables that can benefit your oral health. Their ability to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease is enough to fill your plate with these deliciously good foods.
- Almonds: The calcium and protein that make up these treats are low in sugar and great for a snack.
When It comes to the drinks you consume, water will always be your best option because it has no sugar, and it rinses away the leftover food and bacteria in your mouth.
The Bad Foods
Tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and even more serious health-related conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke can be tied to eating too much of the following foods:
- Dried fruit or anything sticky
- Acidic foods and drinks
- Sports drinks
It’s also important to remember that if you have braces, your orthodontist in Allen will recommend you avoid things like:
- Popcorn & Nuts
- Hard candy/chocolate or cookies
- Corn on the Cob
If you want to keep your mouth healthy and your teeth strong for the rest of your life, it’s time to make a change when it comes to your eating habits. Remember, it’s a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. Incorporating more of the good foods into your diet will not only lower the risk for serious health problems, but it will keep you smiling for years to come.
About the Practice
When it comes to caring for yours and your children’s teeth, OPD Smiles Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry is ready to help! Drs. Michael and Russell Choy are brothers who studied separate dental specialties before joining forces and opening their own practice together. Whether you need orthodontic treatment for yourself, or if your child needs a preventative checkup, we provide comprehensive care in one convenient location. To learn more, contact us at (972) 646-7774.