The American Dental Association has long recognized the link between good oral health and sound nutrition.
Good nutrition and a well-balanced diet is one of the best defenses for your oral health. Providing your body with the right amounts of vitamins and minerals helps your teeth and gums-as well as your immune system-stay strong and ward off infection, decay and disease.
Harmful acids and bacteria in your mouth are left behind from eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. These include carbonated beverages, some kinds of fruit juices, and many kinds of starch foods like pasta, bread and cereal. While no links have been actually made between gum disease and a poor diet, nutrition problems (including obesity and overeating) can create conditions that make gum disease easier to contract.
Children should eat foods rich in calcium and other kinds of minerals, as well as a healthy balance of the essential food groups like vegetables, fruits, dairy products, poultry and meat.
Allowing your children to eat excessive amounts of junk food (starches and sugars)-including potato chips, cookies, crackers, soda, even artificial fruit roll ups and granola bars-only places them at risk for serious oral health problems down the road, including obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes. Fluoride supplements may be helpful if you live in a community without fluoridated water, but consult with our dentist first.
The following are nutrition tips for keeping your teeth healthy and strong: •Don’t drink fruit juice or soda if you can’t brush your teeth afterwards. The high acid and sugar content in fruit juices and sodas can erode enamel. Eat a piece of fruit instead – you’ll also benefit from the fiber it provides – and drink a glass of water.
• Speaking of water – drink plenty of it to prevent a dry mouth, which is a virtual petrie dish for bacteria. If you can’t brush after meals at least rinse your mouth.
• Drink milk, one of the best, most convenient dental superfoods – a great source of both calcium and vitamin D. If you are lactose-intolerant, try Lactaid milk.
• Eat cold water fish, flax seed, walnuts and other foods high in Omega-3s to reduce inflammation throughout the body (that includes the mouth!).
• Control your blood sugar – particularly if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Diabetics are already at a greater risk for periodontal disease.