The month of March includes many celebrations, such as St. Patrick’s Day and the first day of spring. But did you know that it’s also National Nutrition Month? That’s right, there is an entire month dedicated to helping you learn how to eat healthier. While having a healthy body is important, today let’s focus on how to eat better for the sake of your oral health.
What Are Some Mouth-Healthy Foods You Can Eat?
There are plenty of foods out there that are good for your general health. Would you believe that many of them also benefit your oral health? Here are some examples of foods that increase the overall health of your teeth and gums:
Calcium strengthens your teeth and bones, decreasing your risk of getting painful cavities. Some of these foods include dairy products like milk, cheese, and low-fat yogurt.
This mineral also promotes strong teeth and fights tooth decay. Items high in phosphorus include eggs, lean meat, fish, nuts, and beans.
Vitamin C does more than just boost your immune system. It also replenishes the health of your gums and ups their ability to fight off infections. For this reason, you’ll want to eat plenty of citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and potatoes. Just be sure to wait at least 30 minutes after eating citrus to brush your teeth to give your saliva a chance to neutralize the acids in the fruit.
How to Snack Smarter
Some diets claim that if you eat several smaller meals throughout the day, you’ll lose weight. While this may or may not be true, this practice certainly does NOT benefit your oral health. Every time you eat something sugary or starchy, bacteria in your mouth feast on those food particles and create an acidic waste product that erodes tooth enamel. This is what causes cavities.
To combat this, it’s best to limit the number of times a day you eat. It’s much better for your teeth to eat three large meals a day with only one or two snacks in between. Also, it helps to brush and floss after every time you eat or drink anything besides water. If this isn’t possible, at least rinse with water to flush out leftover food particles that attract bacteria.
Even though March is National Nutrition Month, you can implement these tips into your daily life all year long to keep your mouth healthy. You won’t regret it when you leave your next dental checkup completely cavity-free!
About the Author
Dr. Rajiv Shekhadiya earned a dental degree in India before obtaining his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the prestigious New York University. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, and the Dallas County Dental Society. For more advice on how to keep your mouth healthy in between regular cleanings, you can visit his website.