When it comes to the importance of good nutrition and teeth, not enough can be said. Your diet directly impacts the short-term and long-term health of your teeth, bones and the soft tissues of your mouth. A variety of foods from the five food groups have been proven to aid in cavity prevention and in keeping your mouth safe from other dental-related problems.
Children tend to gravitate to foods that can cause cavities so extra effort is needed to ensure that your child gets a healthy daily portion of vegetables and low-fat yogurt and cheeses–all of which promote strong teeth. The oral health and overall health of your children both benefit from good nutrition.
Help Your Smile by Choosing These Foods First!
Bad nutrition and teeth health habits may seem harmless, but they can grow into deep-rooted behaviors. If you currently don’t have good, nutrition and teeth health habits, now is the time to make goals and start a new habit! Good nutrition and your teeth health are linked with healthy food choices. Here are some tooth-friendly foods to add to your nutrition and teeth health goals:
- Water: Helps to wash decay-promoting particles from your teeth. Water is a great choice for hydration because it is sugar-free and helps in the digestion process.
- Dairy: Aged cheeses are best to aid in saliva production. (Saliva can help to rid your teeth of decay-causing food particles.) Milk, and plain yogurt are also great choices.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Reach for fruits and vegetables as a snack instead of carbohydrates. Fruits and Vegetables that contain a high volume of water–such as pears, melons, celery, and cucumber–are best. Foods high in water help balance ingested sugars and help to clean the teeth. Many fruits and vegetables also contain vitamin C (important for healthy gums and quick healing of wounds) and vitamin A (another key nutrient in building tooth enamel). Fruits like bananas and raisins are comprised of lots concentrated sugar so make sure you brush your teeth soon after you eat these fruits. Leafy greens are great sources of calcium too.
- Protein: Calcium-fortified tofu and almonds can promote good teeth health due to their high calcium properties and other nutrients. Other great options for protein: meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs. These foods are also high in phosphorus. Both calcium and phosphorus rebuild and protect your tooth enamel and are vital to your dental health.
Understanding the role of sugar in the human diet
When considering your nutrition and teeth health goals, remember, not ALL sugars are bad. “We actually need sugar; it’s our body’s preferred fuel,” says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. “But we eat too damn much of it.” Natural occurring sugars found in fruits, some vegetables, and milk are perfectly healthy. It’s added sugar (sweeteners put in during processing and prep) that we need to watch out for.
Your body DOES need carbohydrates, which are broken down into sugar in your body. This sugar is essential for your body to create energy to survive. However, it is not necessary to include sugary foods or added sugars in the diet in order for your body to make energy.
In November 2015, the Food and Drug Administration recommended people over the age of 3 eat no more than 50 grams of sugar a day and it should make up no more than 10 percent of your daily calories.
How to track daily sugar intake
When it comes to becoming aware of your daily sugar intake, the first step is to simply read your food labels–some may shock you! Ingredients on food labels are listed according to the amount included in the serving so if sugar is high on the list, beware. Since bacteria in your mouth feeds off of carbohydrates, cutting down on sugar–and other sources of simple carbohydrates that are easily fermentable–can help prevent cavities from forming.
Watch out for words ending in “ose”
Another red flag for unveiling hidden sources of sugar—terms ending in “-ose” indicate a sugar ingredient. Sugar substitutes (Splenda, Equal and Sunett, aspartame, erythritol, saccharin, sucralose, isomalt, sorbitol, acesulfame potassium and mannitol) have the appearance and taste of sugar but they don’t promote decay-causing acids in your mouth that erode your teeth. Paying attention to your sugars is an important step in your nutrition and teeth health action plan.
Call for a Nutrition and Teeth Consultation
If you would like to learn more about how you can help improve your nutrition and teeth health habits for a healthier smile (and body) call our office today! Dr. Evanson and her staff are anxious to get your family on a path of wellness–inside and out! We focus on prevention, tooth preservation, and awareness and make every effort to treat our patients the way we treat members of our own family.
We invite you to view our website to learn more about the services and treatments we provide. Please call us at (720) 409-0008 if you have any questions ortto set up an appointment for a dental exam.Leave a reply →