In many ways, we are in control of our own dental destiny. Decay and issues involving gum health may be prevented with the proper care and the right choices in diet/lifestyle. Daily brushing and flossing coupled with visits to the dentist every six months for cleaning and exam are the first steps to enjoying great oral health for your lifetime.
The Proper Diet
We all enjoy a treat now and then; but there is no room in a healthy diet for sugary or prepackaged snacks on a daily basis. A proper diet consists of vegetables and fruits (fresh or frozen are recommended); dairy; protein; and healthy grains.
Research continues to find correlations between oral health and overall health; what is good for one is going to be good support for the other. For example, if you avoid sugary treats to control your weight, this will also contribute to healthier teeth in helping to control plaque that leads to decay or gum disease.
Foods and Beverages to Avoid or Limit; and Why
Foods that are high in sugar and/or carbs will promote bacteria growth on teeth. Your mouth is full of bacteria, and unhealthy treats add to already present germs. If allowed to grow, this bacteria can harden on teeth forming plaque. Once formed, the only way to eliminate plaque is by a cleaning at your dentist office.
Packaged goods like chips, crackers, cookies, granola bars, etc. can be replaced by healthier options like nuts, seeds, or popcorn. A sweet tooth that craves candy or ice cream can be catered to occasionally, but healthier options are fresh fruit or an apple/celery with a dollop of peanut butter. Reduced sugar varieties of yogurt or ice cream come in many flavor choices and provide an occasional healthier alternative to their full sugar counterparts.
Soda should be avoided (diet soda as well) … juices like sports drinks that claim to be healthy are often loaded with sugar. The better choice is water – you can infuse it with fruit or a sugar free flavoring for variety. Sugar free coffee and tea are okay, but keep in mind their ability to stain dentition.
Healthy Teeth for Life
We only get one set of permanent teeth so a worthy goal is to keep them healthy and protected so they will serve us well for our lifetime. If it’s time to schedule your next exam and cleaning, contact our team at Howl Dental today.