Maintaining a healthy mouth is vital to good overall health. What you eat plays a part in preventing decay, cavities, bone loss or even gum disease. Being aware of foods that promote a healthy smile can save you build healthy teeth and gums. A diet rich with fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, while taking care to avoid saturated fats is recommended. Some foods, though, are more tooth friendly than others.
Avoiding sugary foods such as gummy snacks or lollipops is not the only answer to a tooth-healthy diet. Foods high in sugar and acidity cause bacteria that settle on the teeth, leading to problems down the line, such as plaque and cavities.
Babies and Children
Even though babies do not yet have teeth to keep healthy, there are ways to avoid issues with the teeth waiting to grow in. Never put your child down to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice, as the sugars in those drinks sit on teeth while the child is asleep instead of being washed away throughout the day. A pacifier or bottle of water is, however, suitable before bed. Wiping down the gums with a clean, moist cloth in the morning and before bed also helps in preventing tooth and gum related problems.
Older Children and Teens
While it is known that children and teens love sweets and fizzy drinks such as soda, it is important to both their general and oral health to avoid these kinds of foods. Encouraging them not to snack between meals means that sugary snacks or soda will not stay on the teeth throughout the day.
Just like with children and teens, a healthy diet contributes to a healthy mouth. Avoiding sugary foods and sodas helps to combat plaque and decay. For the required amount of calcium, which strengthens teeth, two to four servings of dairy, like milk or eggs, per day is suggested. One piece of citrus fruit, such as an orange or grapefruit daily is suggested for the proper Vitamin C intake, which helps the body repair tissue and fight off infection. Crunchy vegetables like celery or carrots are also great for teeth in that they help clean the teeth, and also require more chewing, resulting in increased saliva production.
Some tooth-friendly foods include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean meats
Foods to avoid include:
- Sports drinks
- Fruit juices
- Potato chips
Another important part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums is to undergo a regular dental examination every 6 months. If you have questions about a tooth healthy diet or would like to schedule a dental exam, American Dental in Gainesville, VA can help. With a knowledgeable, considerate staff using top of the line equipment, any questions you may have will be answered. Visit www.americandentalva.com to schedule a consultation today!