Brushing and flossing your teeth are both crucial to a healthy smile, but they’re not the only factors that influence the health of your mouth. What you eat and drink also significantly affects your teeth and gums.
But eating healthy isn’t just about avoiding lollipops and soda. There are many nutritious and delicious foods that actually improve your oral health and protect against decay.
Learn more about this “smile diet” to enhance your smile with every bite.
Fiber-Rich Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstones of any healthy diet. The following fruits are bursting with antioxidants and vitamins that fight damaging free radicals and deliver nutrients that maintain the integrity of your teeth and gums:
- Citrus fruits
Vegetables also contain vital nutrients and minerals that reduce inflammation and remineralize tooth enamel. The following veggies are especially valuable to your smile:
Experiment with new recipes to fit these healthy choices into your meals.
Dairy is essential to healthy teeth and gums. It contains high levels of calcium and phosphorus, the two nutrients that remineralize enamel, fight plaque, and strengthen the teeth.
Be sure to select natural dairy products that are low in sugar. Highly processed flavored yogurts with 30 grams of sugar, for example, won’t do your teeth any favors. Try these options for best results:
- Greek yogurt
- 2% Milk
Lean protein is rich in phosphorus and other essential minerals like zinc, iron, and B vitamins. The best choices for your smile diet include chicken, lean beef, eggs, and wild-caught fish.
The grocery store aisles are lined with hundreds of drink options, from fruit juice and sports drinks to soda and seltzer. But there’s only one choice that does your mouth any favors: water.
Water is the only beverage choice that doesn’t compromise your oral health with sugar and extra ingredients. Instead, water washes away food debris and sugar after you eat. This makes it much harder for bacteria to eat away at the teeth and cause cavities. Water also dilutes harmful acid lingering on tooth enamel.
Of course, water also hydrates the mouth and helps produce more saliva. Saliva isn’t just spit; it’s an incredibly important oral function that makes it possible to swallow and digest food, wash away food debris, and neutralize acids. The more water you drink, the better your saliva can do its job. Try to drink water during and between meals to disrupt bacteria before they cause trouble.
Even swapping just two cans of soda with water each day eliminates about 100 grams of sugar from your diet and your mouth!
Stay Away From These Cavity Triggers
Unfortunately, our food industry is defined by artificial, pre-packaged, high-sugar junk. It’s easier- and often cheaper- to purchase processed foods than whole foods. As a result, there’s a very long list of foods that cause cavities and harm your oral health.
Try your best to steer clear of these main culprits:
- Sticky candies like caramels, lollipops, and sweets
- Starchy foods like potato chips and soft breads that get stuck in the teeth
- Soft drinks
- Highly processed or artificial foods with high sugar and carbohydrate content
You don’t need to overhaul your entire diet overnight. Instead, try to eliminate one high-sugar food or drink from your daily routine each day or week. You may be surprised how easy it is to ditch the junk once you realize how good you feel without it!
Other Perks of the Smile Diet
Your oral health influences not only your smile, but the rest of your body as well. This makes sense since your mouth is the gateway to your entire body. Everything that you swallow, good and bad alike, travels through your mouth and digestive system to reach your bloodstream.
A smile diet can reverse or minimize health issues that are linked to poor oral health:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Preterm birth and low birth weight
Only by eating smile-friendly foods can you better protect your mouth and body from such serious complications.
Ask Your Vista, CA Dentist For Support
Don’t worry, you don’t need to change your eating habits by yourself. Dr. Miller and his compassionate team at Ivory Pointe Dentistry are here to help you embrace a smile diet. There’s no single right way to begin a smile diet, so Dr. Miller can provide the guidance and support you need to transform not just your diet, but your smile and overall health.
Call Ivory Pointe Dentistry today at (760) 630-5000 to make an appointment and wave goodbye to your harmful eating habits.