What you eat has a big impact on the health of your mouth, teeth and gums. Chewing and swallowing are the first part of the long journey through your digestive system. The nutrients you consume make their first point of contact in your mouth, which has a big impact on your oral health. Here are a few recommendations to help you eat foods that are nutritious and keep you healthy.
According to the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (https://www/choosemyplate.gov) a balanced and healthy daily diet should include:
- Fruits and Vegetables: Focus on whole fruits (whether fresh, frozen or dried) over fruit juice and a variety of vegetables each day, including dark green, red and orange vegetables, legumes and starchy vegetables.
- Grains: Choose to eat whole wheat grains at least half the time, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
- Dairy: Consume low-fat or fat-free dairy most often.
- Protein: Choose lean protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish (8 ounces a week) and add a variety of other protein sources such as eggs, beans, peas or legumes.
To maintain your dental health, the American Dental Association https://www.mouthhealthy.org) also recommends:
- Avoid snacking and drinking between meals, especially sweets or salty chips that may lead to tooth decay. Make a nutritious choice if you need to eat between meals, such as cheese, yogurt, nuts, fruit or vegetables.
- Limit empty calorie food such as candy, soda, cookies, cakes or chips since they offer no nutritional value, and lead to tooth decay since the sugar they contain adheres to teeth. Drinking sweet drinks is particularly harmful since you are essentially giving your teeth a sugar bath which leads to tooth decay.
- Eat food that is rich in nutrients like calcium (cheese, milk, plain yogurt) and phosphorus (protein rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs) that play a critical part in maintaining good oral health.
- Fruits and vegetables are good choices and are high in water and fiber. They have the added benefit of stimulating saliva which helps wash away harmful acids and food particles from your teeth. They contain vitamin C for healthy gums and vitamin A to help build up tooth enamel.
Dr. Ted Melchers and his staff are here to help address any of your dental health issues and decide the best course of treatment for their patients. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can best meet your dental care needs.