March is National Nutrition Month! There is a direct link between nutrition and oral health and it’s important to know how what you eat and drink affects your teeth and gums. The impact of improper nutrition can be devastating on oral health and can cause gum disease, tooth loss, and tooth decay.
Tips for Good Nutrition for Your Oral Health
Eating for healthy teeth and gums is essential. Below we have some tips on how to eat to keep your oral health in top shape!
Limit sugary foods and drinks. Sugary foods and drinks like candy, soda, and sports drinks, can lead to tooth decay. Bacteria feed on sugar and produce acid that can erode tooth enamel. Limiting sugary foods and drinks can help you reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Eat calcium-rich foods. Calcium is important for strong teeth and bones. Eating calcium-rich foods like dairy products, leafy greens, and nuts can help keep teeth healthy.
Choose foods rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, making it important for strong teeth and bones. Foods including fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified foods are good sources of vitamin D.
Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, can help clean teeth and massage gums as we chew. They also stimulate the production of saliva, which can help neutralize the acid in the mouth.
Drink plenty of water. Water is king in keeping your body, including your teeth and gums, healthy. Drinking water helps rinse away food particles and bacteria in the mouth. A hydrated mouth is also important for saliva production and healthy gums. Saliva helps buffer against bacteria and contains bacteria-fighting properties.
Avoid acidic foods and drinks. Acidic foods and drinks include coffee, citrus fruits, juices, and energy drinks. These acidic foods and beverages can erode tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay. If you do indulge in some of these, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
In addition to these tips, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. By combining good nutrition with good oral hygiene, you can help keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. Contact Smiles by Design to schedule your annual cleanings and exams.