Everybody knows sugar is bad for your teeth, but diet and dental health go far beyond just curbing a love of sweets. The American Dental Association (ADA) provides some fairly simple ways to improve your food choices and eating habits. The good news is you already know some of these tips if you’ve ever tried to lose weight or tackle other health issues. Others may surprise you, so read on.
Tips for Diet and Good Dental Health
• Ginger root has long been known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This can help to keep gums and other tissues in your mouth healthier. There are great herbal teas on the market that can provide you with an infusion of ginger and provide a little relaxation, too. Thinly sliced or grated ginger root can be added to sautéed or stir-fried foods, too, for added benefits.
• The old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” can help with the dentist, too. Munching through an apple takes time. The chewing action and saliva it produces can all be helpful unless you have an issue with TMD or thermodibular joint disorder.
• Leafy salads are good for dental health because they make you chew. This releases saliva and that neutralizes bacteria.
• Strips of onion in a salad can cause a little bad breath, but they are also known to battle bacteria that cause mouth infections. So, munch away.
• Lean protein like extra lean beef, chicken without the skin and fish are good for dental health. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can substitute dry beans, peas or other legumes. Protein is important to good dental health because it builds and maintains tooth structure and tissue development.
• Low-fat and fat-free dairy foods can help remove the bacteria that form plaque. The calcium is a plus, to build and maintain strong teeth and bones.
• A lot of diets now recommend snacks in between meals so you keep from getting too hungry and eating too much. If you do snack, stick to fruit, vegetables or a piece of cheese or something that’s a healthy choice for our teeth. Otherwise, brush afterward.
• Beverages are a big part of this picture, too. Bloomberg Magazine recently predicted that sales of bottled and carbonated water will surpass soda by the end of the year. Despite the popularity of bottled water and seltzer, there are studies that show fluoridated tap water is best. It hydrates, washes damaging acidic content from your mouth and teeth. Carbonated beverages of any kind can leave behind damaging acidic residue.
Balance Nutrition Ideas with What Works for You
As with all recommendations and suggestions, you need to balance these ideas with what works best for your system. If you’re concerned that dental flare-ups are related to diet or have any other dental needs, contact Jones & Zirker Family Dentistry in Iowa City, IA.