What we eat affects our oral health as well as overall health, says Damon R. Johnson, DDS. We can significantly lower the risk for cavities by choosing food and drinks that are good for the teeth. This means limiting the amount of sugar, starch and acid. Instead, Dr. Johnson recommends substituting foods that promote good oral health.
For example, fresh fruits and vegetables are lower in sugar and higher in water and fiber. It’s important to choose foods rich in vitamin C like citrus fruit, says Damon R. Johnson, DDS. These foods help strengthen teeth and gums.
Dairy products are great for the teeth too. Not only do they include calcium, they have vitamin B12, which helps strengthen the gums. In addition, milk is typically fortified with vitamin D which the body needs in order to absorb calcium.
According to Damon R. Johnson, DDS, there are some foods that should be avoided altogether. “Your worst enemy are sticky foods because they are in contact with your teeth the longest,” explains Dr. Johnson. They also sneak into crevices between teeth. These include sticky candy, but also dried fruits like raisins.
It all comes down to eating a balanced diet and making smart choices from every food group, points out Damon R. Johnson, DDS.
Here are some tips from Dr. Johnson:
- Fill your plate with fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats and dairy products.
- Limit the carbohydrates.
- Limit snacks between meals. When you do snack, foods like milk, cheese, nuts help keep you satisfied and are good for your teeth.
- Avoid sugary drinks and snacks.
Of course, brush twice daily and floss once a day.
Good nutrition makes a big difference when it comes to oral health. Following these tips will help you keep a healthy smile for a lifetime, concludes Damon R. Johnson, DDS.