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7 Diet Tips for Dental Health
What you eat and drink affects every part of your body. Nutrition can have a great influence on your energy level, immune system functionality and overall health. Like the rest of your body, diet plays a big role in oral health as well. Discover these seven diet tips for a healthy smile.
Diet tips for dental health
1. Drink water
Drinking plenty of water will help you stay hydrated, ensuring that saliva production is at a healthy level. Saliva helps to wash the mouth and keep the effects of acid at bay. The small amount of fluoride in water will also keep your enamel strong. As an added benefit, swishing with water after meals can wash away food particles that may otherwise stick around and feed plaque buildup.
2. Avoid sugar
The bacteria that form plaque feed on sugar. Sugary food and drinks tend to stick to your teeth and speed up bacteria growth. Try to avoid foods and beverages like candy, pastries and soda to keep your pearly whites free of cavities.
Enamel is made up of minerals that protect our teeth. Calcium aids in fortifying this outermost layer of the teeth. A diet rich in calcium will also encourage strong bones, including your jaw. As long as your jawbone is healthy, it will be able to better support your teeth.
High levels of calcium can be found in dairy foods like yogurt and cheese. You can also get your calcium fix by eating seafood and almonds.
In combination with calcium, this important mineral strengthens the tissue on the surface of teeth. Since this enamel is not a living tissue, it cannot be rebuilt after loss. This is why it is very important to protect it from wear.
Acidic food and drink, along with the effects of the natural aging process, can erode enamel. The tissue then thins over time and can make teeth more susceptible to damage. It is in your best interest to keep enamel healthy with minerals like phosphorus. You can get your fill of this mineral by choosing to eat foods like eggs, tofu and fish.
Proteins are a key part of any diet. In terms of dental health, these vital nutrients are the building blocks for all tissues in the body. In fact, sturdy tooth structure is directly linked to healthy protein levels. Good sources of protein include eggs, fish, beef, oats and even pumpkin seeds.
6. Vitamin D
Absorption of minerals is just as important as getting the right amount of minerals in your system. Vitamin D helps to retain minerals like calcium better. All it takes to get vitamin D in your system is catching some sun rays.
7. Vitamin C
This vitamin has anti-inflammatory properties and is essential in the production of collagen, a protein that supports your gums. Low levels of vitamin C are linked to periodontal disease, a destructive infection that deteriorates the gumline. Protect your gums by eating broccoli, bell peppers and spinach.
Following a diet that is high in protein and calcium and low in sugary foods, accompanied by regular brushing and flossing, can keep your teeth looking and feeling great. Talk to your dentist today to discuss a diet plan that is customized to your exact dental needs.
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