How Nutrition Impacts Your Oral Health
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?
Most of us have heard by now that a nutritious diet can have positive impacts on our overall health, but does that include our oral health? WHY YES, YES IT DOES! The staff at De Pere Smiles is always striving to help patients achieve optimal health not only during their time spent in the dental chair, but also in everyday life. So let’s take a closer look at how the foods you are consuming (or not consuming) can impact your teeth and the overall state of your mouth.
AVOID SUGAR: We have all heard time after time how bad sugar is for our health, and that is definitely true when it comes to your teeth. Has your dentist ever asked you if you eat a lot of candy or drink a lot of sugary drinks? There is a reason! Sugar consumption can lead to tooth decay and the breakdown of tooth enamel, which can cause cavities. Unfortunately, the food and beverage industry “hides” sugar in our foods by disguising the name. Did you know that there are over 100 names for sugar that are used on food labels? Try to familiarize yourself with these names and be aware when you buy these products. Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar content, and if you do consume these foods/drinks, make sure you brush your teeth well following consumption!
EAT FOODS THAT CONTAIN CALCIUM: Milk and foods high in calcium not only help strengthen bones, but they help make strong teeth, too! According to the American Dental Association, the average adult should aim to consume between 1,000 and 2,000 mg of calcium daily in order to maintain optimum tooth and enamel health. Eating foods high in calcium helps strengthen the enamel of your teeth, thus making your teeth less likely to break. Some foods rich in calcium include: milk, cheese, leafy greens, fish, yogurt, seeds, and almonds.
MAKE WISE CHOICES: To achieve your best oral health, strive to make healthy choices when choosing what you eat and drink. Instead of reaching for a can of soda, grab a glass of water instead. Replace a handful of M&M’s with a handful of almonds, cashews, or walnuts. Try daily to consume a variety of foods from each of the 5 food groups (for more information on the five major food groups, visit www.mypyramid.gov).
Let us know how we can help you attain your best oral health; we are here for you! If you ever have questions regarding nutrition and how it impacts your oral health, please do not hesitate to ask Dr. Peterson. Let’s work together to make 2018 our healthiest year yet!