In your quest to maintain a healthy smile, you may have already taken a look at your daily hygiene practices, and even increased your visits to the dentist for preventive care. However, if you have not taken a long, hard look at your diet, there are compelling reasons to do so. What you eat and drink on a daily basis can have a major impact on your dental health. If you want to keep your smile in great shape, make sure your dietary choices are helping in that effort, not sabotaging your oral health!
Cutting Back on Sugar Could Be Key to Cavity Prevention
Another simple way to protect your smile is by limiting how much sugar you consume on a regular basis. Since the bacteria in the mouth feed upon sugar, the more of it you consume on a regular basis, the more likely you are to struggle with dental cavities.
Avoiding obvious sweets, like brownies, cakes, cookies and candy, is a good start. Unfortunately, many packaged foods are surprisingly high in sugar, so you still need to be careful about what you buy, and eat – and drink – on a daily basis. Get in the habit of reading the labels on the things you buy, and avoid those that list sugar in any form as a leading ingredient. Honey and maple syrup might seem like healthier forms of sugar, for instance, but they still create acidity in the mouth, which can be damaging to teeth. So avoid items that rely on these heavily.
Of course, what you eat isn’t the only common source of sugar in the standard American diet. Many drinks are also high in sugar. From sodas and sweetened teas, to many juices and smoothies, you should avoid drinking items that are high in sugar, particularly throughout the day, when the teeth’s exposure to the sugar becomes extended and therefore more dangerous. Sports and energy drinks also often contain high amounts of sugar.
The healthiest choice for your smile, and your body, is water. It actually helps to prevent dental problems. That said, unsweetened milks can also be good, since they are often high in calcium, which helps maintain strong teeth. Some unsweetened tea can also be a good choice, since many contain antioxidants that are good for the body. Just be careful not to drink ones that are staining, if you are concerned about keeping your smile bright and beautiful, as well as healthy!
Want to Protect Your Smile?
Preventive dentistry helps to prevent dental cavities and other oral health problems. You can schedule your next preventive appointment with Dr. Fondriest by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts at (847) 234-0517. We welcome patients from the North Shore area of Chicago, including Winnetka, Highland Park, North Brook, Glenview, and the surrounding communities.