Many people don’t understand the connection between diet and dental health. Watching what you eat and drink is an important part of maintaining your health. But it can be difficult to properly choose a diet, especially with so many factors to consider. For many people, the main connection between diet and oral health is that certain things they eat can negatively impact their teeth and gums. However, food also plays an important role in keeping your smile healthy and strong for life. The key is to eat healthy and avoid the things that can harm your teeth and gums. Like the rest of your body, your smile needs certain nutrients to stay strong, fight off disease, and remain healthy.
If you have spent much time at your dentist receiving restorative treatment to address cavities or other preventable problems, then you may have already taken some steps to take better care of your mouth. For instance, you might have added flossing to your daily hygiene routine, and made it a priority to see your dentist at least twice a year for checkups and dental cleanings. But have you considered how greatly your diet can impact your oral health, as well? If not, understanding the role what you eat and drink plays in your mouth, can help you make smarter choices!
Sacrificing great flavor and good nutrition for the sake of convenience
Do you feel like you are frequently sacrificing great flavor and good nutrition for the sake of convenience? If you regularly find yourself eating food from a drive thru window or grabbing lunch from a vending machine, you could be struggling with a variety of side effects, from feeling sluggish and cranky, to potentially damaging your dental health. Most processed and packaged foods contain large amounts of sugar, which can contribute to dental problems like cavities and even gum disease. Fortunately, there are lots of healthy diet alternatives that don’t have to cost a fortune that are good for your dental health! So if you want to protect your smile, feel better, and perhaps even lose a few pounds, why not take a look at your diet?
Are You Giving Your Smile the Nutrients It Needs?
First, the entire body relies on vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to remain strong and healthy. If your diet is lacking in these, so will your dental health. It will also lead to poor overall health, including struggles to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
The best sources of these nutrients is whole foods, such as vegetables and fruits, lean sources of protein, and healthy fats. Plant based diets are good for your body and your teeth. Crunchy, uncooked vegetables, such as carrots and celery, can remove plaque during the chewing process.
Looking to make some practical swaps in your diet to improve your dental health?
Your overall and oral health are both dependent on getting the nutrients the body needs to function properly and to protect itself against bacteria. Unfortunately, if your diet is filled with empty calories with little nutritional value, you will not be able to function or feel your best. You may begin to notice dental problems such as sensitivity or discomfort, as well.
There are lots of simple swaps that can help make your everyday routine much healthier
- Instead of sugary cereal, for instance, why not have oatmeal with fresh fruit or almond butter for added flavor and protein? Or go with a veggie filled omelette, which is satiating and nutritious. You could also add fruit to a plain yogurt, for a quick breakfast on the go, or a nutritious snack.
- Taking your lunch to work, instead of hitting a drive thru, can save you money, calories and added sugar. To keep things simple, either make extra portions of dinner to take as leftovers, or create a week’s worth of simple meals like salads, baked chicken, roasted veggies, whole grains, and other healthy options, to make packing your lunch a breeze on busy weekdays.
- Instead of resorting to sugary candy bars or granola bars which are often just as high in sugar to get you through an afternoon slump, try taking your own trail mix made of a mix of nuts and dark chocolate, which is actually good for your teeth!
- Ready to cut back on sodas, sweet teas and coffee filled with cream and sugar? Try adding fruits and herbs to your water, to make it more flavorful. Just avoid citrus fruits which can be erosive. You could also make plain tea or coffee, and add a bit of coconut or cashew milk, or even cinnamon, for flavor and a subtle hint of sweetness.
How Much Sugar Are You Consuming?
Of course, equally important to what you are eating and drinking, is what you should be avoiding, and when it comes to the general health of your teeth, that is sugar. Sugar is what the bacteria in the mouth feed upon, therefore, the more of it you are eating or drinking, on a regular basis, the more prone you will be to developing cavities, and even gum disease.
To avoid dental problems, it’s best to limit your sugar consumption. This means making sweets an occasional treat, rather than a main part of your diet. It also means avoiding sweetened beverages, like sodas, sweetened teas and coffees, shakes and even some fruit juices and smoothies.
Learn more about diet and dental health
There are plenty of foods that stain your teeth. Choose food groups such as fruits and vegetables that are all round good for you. With the right minerals and nutrients, you can give your smile the fuel it needs to stay healthy for life. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling us at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities.