Nutrition and Your Dental Health
By Dental Designs of Solomon Valley, PA
April 30, 2018
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Protect Your Oral Health and Watch What You Eat

If you want to maintain a healthy smile, not only is it important to practice proper dental hygiene but also it is important to pay attention to what foods you eat and how often you eat them.  The foods we consume daily not only lead to a fitter physique and a healthier heart, but they also affect the health of our teeth and gums. The more often you eat and the longer foods stay in your mouth, the more damage that occurs.   Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids, and the acids then begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process. Your dentist in Beloit is available to help you establish a proper diet in order to further protect your smile. 

Establish a Proper Diet

You can improve your oral health and reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease by eating a well-balanced diet based on the well-known food pyramid.  It is recommended that eating a variety of foods from the five major food groups—grains, fruit, vegetables, milk, and meat—are highly important.  Vitamin and mineral supplements can also help in the preservation of periodontal health in addition to the boosting of overall health and well-being. Dental Designs of Solomon Valley and your family physician can help you determine a healthy diet for your individual needs.
 
By eating in moderation and variety you can develop eating habits that follow the recommendations of various reputable health organizations to protect your oral health as well as your overall health.  Avoid fad diets that limit or eliminate entire food groups, which results in vitamin or mineral deficiencies.  Additionally, always keep your mouth moist by drinking water because your saliva protects both hard and soft oral tissues.  When you have a dry mouth, substitute your diet with sugarless candy or gum to stimulate your saliva.
 

Frequency of Eating

When teeth are repeatedly exposed to foods and beverages, the chance for decay greatly increases. Eliminating foods high in starch or sugar won’t always be possible, so try to eat them during meals rather than between meals.
To reduce the time teeth are exposed to these factors, it's important to: 
  • Avoid continuous snacking and sipping of drinks;
  • Allow time between meals for saliva to neutralize acids and repair the teeth
  • Avoid brushing teeth immediately after consuming acidic foods, drinks, citrus fruits and juices
  • Avoid eating right before bedtime
 
It has long been known that good nutrition and a well-balanced diet is one of the best defenses for maintaining your oral health. While choosing healthy foods and drinks are good ways to prevent tooth decay, daily oral hygiene should still remain an integral part of achieving healthy teeth and gums. Visit your Beloit dentist for regular checkups and cleanings as they can help to detect early signs of decay. 

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