Brushing Your Teeth and Eating Healthy Both Contribute to Oral Health!
We’re told from a young age how important it is to take care of our teeth. While brushing and flossing are a critical part of oral health, your food and beverage choices also play a role.
After eating, bacteria breaks down the sugar on your teeth into acids that damage tooth enamel and create cavities, so it’s important to make healthy food choices.
Limit things like candy, dried fruit, cough drops, sugary drinks and refined sugars, which provide a constant stream of simple sugars to these bacteria. Instead, opt for fresh fruit, cheese (which has actually been shown to be “anti-cavity”), lean meats, vegetables and whole grains.
What types of foods you crunch and chew on are important, but so are the nutrients found in those foods.
Here are some nutrients that can help keep your teeth healthy:
- Calcium helps re-mineralize teeth after tooth enamel is removed by acid. Helps to protects against gum disease and neutralize/lower acid levels in the mouth. Found in cheese, nuts and milk.
- Phosphorus works closely with calcium to keep teeth healthy. Found in meat, eggs & fish.
- Vitamin C helps produce collagen to strength gums and reduce inflammation. Found in oranges, strawberries, broccoli and peppers.
- Vitamin D helps the body absorb and use the calcium found in food and drinks. Found in salmon, fortified milk and Greek-style yogurt. It is also made by the skin when exposed to sun.
- Water dilutes the effects of sugars and acids and stimulates saliva flow which washes away food particles. Found in crunchy fruits & vegetables like apples, pears, celery & carrots
So take the time to brush your teeth every night before bed, but also remember that the food choices you make all day long can help keep your teeth strong and healthy!
When deciding which meals and snacks to choose, try to pick foods that are lower in sugar and avoid those that stick to your teeth. Lean proteins, fresh fruits, nuts, eggs, veggies, plain Greek-style yogurt, cheese and whole grains are all great choices.
Cabot Fit Blogger Highlight – Kristina LaRue – loveandzest.com
Let me just start off by saying, my dad is a dentist. While I come by it naturally, a healthy smile has always been a priority to me. I had braces in high school and I knew to not eat candy and soda all day to prevent decay. As an RD, these are teachings that I can stand by, Thanks Dad!!
To avoid cavities eat a balanced, healthy diet consisting of plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, low fat dairy and lean meats. I love this Creamy Apple & Fig Quesadilla paired with a green salad for a balanced meal. The quesadilla can be a snack too— just share it with a friend! Eat well to protect those precious pearly whites, and keep your visits to the dentist pain free.