Foods That Can Improve Your Oral Health

Brushing and flossing twice daily is not enough to keep our mouths healthy. While these routines can contribute to a lower risk of gum disease and cavity formation, we have to provide our body with proper nourishment as well because a proper diet and oral health are symbiotic.

There are many kinds of food and beverages that can keep your teeth and gums in healthy condition. Here are the best foods and drinks for good oral health.

Water

Being the universal solvent, water neutralizes acidity that is found in our sweet or sour food choices. It acts as a lubricant, to prevent dry mouth (xerostomia), which is a major factor that contributes to cavity formation.

If you have access to fluoridated drinking water, you are in luck. Fluoride turns the hydroxyapatite in the enamel layer into fluoroapatite, which is much more resistant to damage and decay.

Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that improves blood circulation as well. It helps keep your gums healthy as it assists in collagen production. This reduces your risk of gum recession and periodontal disease.

There are many types of food that contain vitamin C. Grapefruits, kiwi, strawberries, cherries and oranges are the best sources of ascorbic acid.

Calcium-Rich Food

Keep your alveolar bone strong and healthy with a dose of calcium per day. This can prevent oral problems caused by bone density loss. This can include loosening of dentition and even fractures.

High-Fiber Food

Fiber helps improve digestion and also helps clean our teeth. This is why it would be wise to stock up on celery or other fibrous vegetables and fruits. They are excellent palate cleansers as well.

Since a well-balanced diet and oral health go hand in hand, we should be picky when it comes to planning our meals. Please note that although all these are excellent foods to eat for good oral health, they can never take the place of flossing and brushing. Remember that healthy foods also do not eliminate the need for a check up and professional cleaning twice per year.

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Four Types Of Food To Avoid For Good Oral Health

White smileThey say that we are what we eat. While it may seem like a corny quote, there is some truth to it, with regard to oral health. Not everything we ingest is good for us. There is plenty of proof that there is a link between our diet and oral health. The ADA has compiled the following list of foods to avoid for good oral health.

 

Hard Food

People with weak enamel should avoid chewing hard substances as this can lead to tooth fracture or breakage. Cutting hard food into smaller pieces will help reduce the risk. However, if possible, it would be best not to chew on hard candy or ice, especially if you have weak teeth.

Acidic Food and Beverages
The enamel is one of the hardest substances in the human body. However, it is susceptible to damage caused by acidity.

Soda, beer, wine, hard liquor, dairy products, berries, vinegar, cocoa and sugar are the common culprits. Please note that acidic food temporarily weakens the tooth surface that it comes in contact with. If a person indulges regularly, his or her oral health will suffer in time.

Sticky Food

Sticky treats like caramel, toffee, licorice and other sweets are packed with sugar, which is acidic. They pose a greater danger to teeth due to their consistency, as sticky food can become lodged in hard to clean crevices, especially the occlusal surface of molars.

Sticky food provides bacteria with a fantastic breeding ground, especially if some leftover particles adhere to the tooth surface for days.

Darkly-Pigmented Food and Beverages

Chromogens are pigmented particles that give color to our food and drink. Red wine, berries, tomato sauce, coffee, tea and other colored beverages can stain teeth, if consumed regularly.

Tea, although excellent for over-all health, contains tannins. This will stain the teeth, leaving dark brown spots over time. In fact, tannins can be used to tan leather and as ink. Please note that eating acidic food beforehand can make the stain worse.

The obvious link between our diet and oral health is reason enough to do what we can to keep our teeth in the best condition possible. Most of us who have scanned the list will agree that we will find it impossible to give some of them up. Therefore, it would be best to improve our oral hygiene to make up for indulging occasionally.

Along with watching your diet, it is important to schedule a regular appointment with your dentist.  Not only will you get a professional cleaning, your dentist will be able to see if any oral health issues exist, or if you are at risk.  Contact Dana Walters DDS today to schedule an appointment.

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Your Oral Health In The New Year

Resolutions often begin with good intentions, but fall behind when the weeks and months pass. When you make resolutions for your oral health, start with lifestyle changes that will become a habit. Your oral health will continue to be a priority throughout this year and years into the future.

Lifestyle changes must include home care. Regardless of how busy your daily life may be, make a point of scheduling time for care of your teeth and gums. A quick whisk of the toothbrush is not enough for oral health. Plan in advance to spend a few minutes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Plan to do this once in the morning and once in the evening.

Lifestyle changes for the new year should include healthier food choices. Learn to enjoy fresh vegetables instead of sweet treats. Limit your consumption of soda pop, coffee, and tea. Caffeinated beverages can harm the tooth enamel, even if they do not contain sugar.

If you do not have a dentist, make regular appointments part of your new year’s resolutions. Even the best home oral care cannot substitute for routine dental visits. You can make an appointment with Dana Walters DDS for a complete examination.  Your dental visit will also include professional cleaning. This process will remove plaque and tartar that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Professional cleaning will remove residue and bacteria from between your teeth and other areas you cannot easily reach with your toothbrush. When you leave the dentist’s office, your teeth will be sparkling clean and fresh.

When you visit the dentist, you will receive helpful information about oral care products. The new year is the ideal time to purchase new toothbrushes and toothpastes that are appropriate for your needs. The products you use will be more effective when they are the right products for you.

Everyone wants to start the new year with resolutions that will have long-term benefits. It is not enough to make a list that will be set aside and forgotten. You can have better oral health for the rest of your life if you take a sensible approach to these lifestyle changes.

Make sure you are never too busy to care for your teeth, visit the dentist, and choose healthy foods and beverages. Your lifestyle changes will become permanent, healthy habits.

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New Year Resolutions and Dental Health- Continued

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Let’s discuss the top two priorities that will help you make your care a priority in 2015. 

Resolve to Visit Your Dentist at Least Two Times Per Year

If you do not have any oral health problems, visit your dentist every six months.  However, if you have a problem that must be corrected, or an issue that should be addressed, resolve to see your dentist more frequently.

One example is to fix your smile with clear braces.  If your teeth are not perfect, braces can result in healthier, more attractive teeth.  A little extra time at the dentist’s office can result in a lifetime of benefits.

Resolve to Include Dental Health as Part of Your Overall Health

You would not allow a year to pass without visiting your doctor, or taking care of your physical health at home.  The wisest resolution you can make is to see dental health and dental visits the same way.

When you resolve to visit your dentist regularly, follow the dentist’s advice, and take care of your oral health at home, it will make a difference.  If you make a point of including these dental health resolutions on your list of New Year resolutions, your New Year can be the start of many healthy changes.

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