The food you eat can either help your teeth and gums or help tooth decay and gum disease. That’s why nutrition is important to dental health.
Here’s some tips on how to protect your teeth with a healthy diet:
Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods
Sugary and acidic foods can erode tooth enamel. This leads to tooth decay and sensitivity.
Foods high in sugar include:
Acidic foods include:
- Tomato sauce
Limiting these foods and drinks can help protect your teeth from decay and sensitivity.
Choose Tooth-Friendly Foods
However, some foods can actually help protect your teeth. Foods high in calcium, like milk, cheese, and yogurt, help strengthen tooth enamel. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, can help clean teeth by scrubbing away plaque. Additionally, foods high in vitamin C, like strawberries and kiwi, can promote healthy gums.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water helps rinse food particles and bacteria from your mouth. Plus if it’s fluoridated, it strengthens tooth enamel to prevent cavities. When you can, drink water with meals and throughout the day.
Frequent snacking increases the time your teeth are exposed to bacteria and acid. This can lead to tooth decay. Instead, try eating balanced meals with tooth-friendly foods like lean protein, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you do snack, go healthy with raw nuts or fresh fruit.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
While a healthy diet can help protect your teeth, it’s still important to practice good oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups. Additionally, avoid smoking or using tobacco products, as they can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.
Finding the right balance for you
It’s easy to say that, but living it out is entirely different. The good news is you don’t have to follow every one of those guidelines perfectly to benefit. Let’s be honest, everyone is going to pop a candy into their mouth without thinking, or choose pop over water. But, it’s not about being perfect. As long as you’re aware of your food choices, you can make better decisions with your nutrition.