Diet and dental health

Diet and dental health

Many people don’t understand the connection between diet and dental health. If you have spent much time in a dental chair, receiving restorative treatment to address dental cavities or other preventable problems, then you may have already taken some steps to take better care of your oral health. 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 teeth and gums’ health, 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 alternatives that don’t have to cost a fortune or take a great deal of your time! 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.

Looking to Make Some Practical Swaps?

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.

Fortunately, there are lots of simple swaps that can help make your everyday routine much healthier, and can begin to change your tastes as well.

  • 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, 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 dental health, 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 the connection between diet and dental health

Preventive dentistry helps to keep the teeth and gums healthy and free of problems, like cavities. Call Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, today, at 847-234-0517 to schedule a preventive appointment.