Healthy Nutrition and Dental Health
Our nutrition can play an important role in maintaining not only good general health but also good dental health.
The health of our teeth can be affected not only by the type of foods we consume and the concentration of sugar they contain, but also by the timing of meals and when or how we consume each food or drink.
Healthy nutrition tips for better oral health
- Avoid foods with high concentration of sugar (cakes, ice cream, honey...)
- Fluoride can protect the teeth. Make sure that nutrition, drinking water and use of fluoride toothpaste provide the necessary quantities of fluoride.
- Prefer foods rich to nutritious ingredients but without sugar (milk, yoghurt, rice, meat, fish, fruits....)
- Beware of 'hidden' sugars. Don't consider sweet only the foods with sweet taste. Check for the concentration of sugar on product labels.
- Don't forget that many refreshments and soft drinks have a high concentration of sugar. Although diet soft drinks do not contain sugar, they do contain acids and can damage tooth enamel.
- Choose fruits and vegetables that contain a high volume of water, such as pears, melons, celery, and cucumbers as 'healthy snacks' instead of sweet snacks.
- It is better to finish your meal with yellow cheese that helps neutralizing the acids in our mouth, especially after the consumption of sweet foods.
The timing of meals
For a healthy nutrition for your teeth, it is important not only what you eat but also when you eat it. You should consume sweets only at the main meals. Don't eat sweets between meals. During meals the saliva production is increased neutralizing most of the acids. That's why a sweet during meal is less hazardous than one taken between the meals. Avoid sugary or acidic drinks between meals. Drink milk or water.
The structure of foods
The foods structure is also important for dental health :
- wet foods act for only a limited amount of time
- tough foods are the safest because they increase the saliva production and help to the self-cleaning of teeth
- soft and sticky foods are dangerous because they attach and get between the teeth providing a better environment for the bacteria and dental plaque.
Along with following these healthy nutrition tips, you should not forget to brush your teeth after every meal, and floss at least once daily.
Healthy Foods for Healthy Teeth
Healthy foods for teeth are considered in general those that:
- contain little or no sugar
- do not stick to teeth
- do not last long in the mouth
Fresh fruit juices
Sugar free gums
Other foods for healthy teeth and gums are :
- foods that contain calcium (the mineral the tooth enamel is made of) help strengthen teeth and jaw bones
- foods that contain vitamin C are important for maintaining healthy gums
- black and green teas that contain antioxidants that prevent dental calculus formation.
- firm fruits containing more water, such as: apples, grapes, pears, cantaloupes and other melons
- Not all fruits are healthy foods for teeth. Some fruits such as bananas have a very high concentration of sugar and should be avoided. Citrus fruits are very acidic and could cause damage to tooth enamel.
Along with following these healthy nutrition tips, you should not forget to brush your teeth after every meal, and floss at least once daily. Healthy teeth depend on a balanced diet that includes a variety of food groups and provides the necessary nutrients for your body.
Daily oral hygiene is essential for maintaining oral health. It should also be combined with proper healthy diet and regular dental visits.