August 10, 2020
It’s common knowledge that eating too many sugary treats will lead to a mouthful of cavities. But that’s not the only way what you eat influences your smile! In fact, a few simple changes to your daily diet can promote healthier gums, lower your risk of broken teeth, and boost your oral health. Read on as your Buffalo Grove dentist shares a few tips for snacking your way towards a healthier smile.
The Worst Foods for Your Teeth
An important part of improving your oral health with what you eat is to keep in mind which foods you should stay away from. Certain foods and drinks dramatically increase your risk of issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and weakened teeth. To protect your smile, avoid or limit:
- Hard candies and popcorn.
- Chewing on ice.
- Citrus-based foods or drinks.
- Coffee filled with sweeteners and creamers.
- Sticky foods like dried fruit.
- Crunchy, starch-filled snacks like chips.
- Soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks.
- Alcohol consumption.
Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy alternatives you can add into your daily diet to improve the health of your smile as well, such as:
- Low or no fat dairy products: Dairy products are a great source of calcium, which helps strengthen your jawbone and rebuild your enamel.
- Lean proteins: Poultry, fish, eggs, and other phosphorus-rich foods help maximize the efficiency of calcium for a stronger smile.
- Crunchy vegetables and fruits that are high in fiber: Healthy, high-fiber foods like apples, carrots, and celery can help lower your risk of getting a cavity in Buffalo Grove by brushing away plaque and encouraging saliva production.
- Fruits and vegetables with Vitamin C: Vitamin C aids your immune system and encourages healthy gum tissue. However, watch out for citrus-based snacks that contain high amounts of acid. Safer sources of vitamin C include cantaloupe, berries, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.
- Tap water: Most tap water is fortified with fluoride, the same mineral in your toothpaste that helps fight tooth decay. Regularly drinking water will also wash away lingering particles while keeping you hydrated!
Keeping Your Smile Happy & Healthy
How you eat is just as important as what you eat. Constantly snacking and sipping throughout the day provides a steady stream of fuel for cavity-causing bacteria. Even healthy snacks like fruit contain enough sugars to increase your risk of tooth decay if you eat them regularly throughout the day. Limit eating to mealtimes and drink plenty of water if you do choose to snack.
Even with these tips for better oral health, it’s important that you visit your dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. They’ll remove plaque and tartar from hard to clean areas in your mouth and help keep your smile happy and healthy for a lifetime.
About the Author
Dr. Natalya Nagornaya of Countryside Dental has been serving the smiles of Buffalo Grove and the surrounding communities for well over a decade. Her goal is to help patients prevent dental issues from developing and teach them about their own oral health. Like the American Dental Association, she encourages her patients to come in twice a year for regular checkups to maintain optimal oral health for life. If you have questions about how your diet impacts your oral health, she can be contacted via her website or at (847) 634-2525.
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