Poway and San Diego, CA
If you want healthy teeth, then you should brush and floss your teeth daily, as well as limit your intake or avoid sugar, which is what all dentists and hygienists preach. But, you may be like many patients who have been following this sound advice, yet still gets cavities.
What gives? Although brushing, flossing, and avoiding sugar does play a significant role in keeping your mouth healthy, there is more to your oral health than that.
Nutrition plays a huge role in the health of your mouth. Yes, of course avoiding or limiting your sugar intake, especially candy and sugary beverages, helps reduce your chances of developing tooth decay (cavities), but surprisingly, a lack of proper nutrients could be to blame for your cavities.
Adding these certain nutrients to your diet can do more for your mouth than you may think.
- Calcium-fortified milk or other dairy products help promote healthy teeth, and bones. Strong teeth are less susceptible to breaking or cracking. Most often, when a tooth becomes broken or cracked, repairing the tooth with a dental crown is the best option. Sometimes, a tooth can be so badly broken that it cannot be repaired and must be removed.
- Crisp fruits and veggies such as carrots, apples, and celery can help clean your teeth. Now, this idea certainly should not replace your routine dental cleanings by any means, but snacking on these crunchy foods helps reduce plaque buildup, which is the leading cause of gum disease and can cause cavities. You still need to brush twice a day and floss daily though.
- For gum health, consume a healthy balance of antioxidants, which are found in fresh fruits and veggies. Antioxidants help protect against cell damage and bacterial infections. Foods containing the highest amounts of antioxidants are beans, berries, and apples.
- Folic acid is not just for pregnancy. It is a vitamin found mostly in leafy greens that help support cell growth for your entire body. If you find it difficult to consume enough leafy greens regularly, consider taking a folic acid supplement. Be sure to discuss with the dentist regarding the proper dosage for you and your needs.
Now you know what to eat, but how about when to eat it?
Timing is everything, even when it comes to your oral health. Be sure that if you are snacking between meals that you avoid or limit your intake of foods high in sugar or carbohydrates. Sadly, we are referring to chips, crackers, and other foods that tend to stick to your teeth.
Foods that take longer to chew or foods that you hold in your mouth (hard candies or cough drops), will increase your chances of developing cavities, so try to avoid those whenever possible, or brush after consuming them. Also, try not to sip on acidic or sugary beverages throughout the day. Instead, choose water. Besides, beverages with added sugar are not healthy for your teeth or your overall health.
At Smiles by Dr. Cook, we believe your overall health starts with your mouth. We not only encourage oral hygiene but a healthy diet as well. What you consume affects your entire body, including your mouth.
To learn more about oral health or to schedule a consultation, please call our office at (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today.
We welcome patients of Carmel Mountain, Poway, and Rancho Bernardo, California.