The weather is getting warmer, which means it will soon be time for trips to the beach and days lounging at the pool. For most people, this also means eating healthier in order to get their perfect summer body. These healthy foods are not only perfect for losing weight, they are also perfect for keeping your teeth and gums healthy!
How does what you eat affect your oral health?
Just like the rest of your body, your mouth needs a healthy diet to stay in shape. Your teeth and gums are extremely sensitive to poor nutrition. Eating foods that are high in sugar, fat, and/or complex carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss and even periodontal disease.
Consuming a large amount of soda, sweet fruit drinks and snacks that contain little to no nutritional value, slowly but surely break down your teeth. Carbohydrates are ultimately broken down into simple sugars, further destroying enamel. Ferment-able carbohydrates are broken down in the mouth, which jumpstart the decay process as soon as they are eaten.
Foods for Optimum Oral Health
To prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease, in addition to being healthy overall, keep the following food choices in mind:
Calcium – Calcium helps protect your teeth from tooth decay. This necessary mineral is found in most dairy products, most notably cheese, milk, and yogurt. Calcium doesn’t hide in fat either, so choosing low-fat dairy options are just as good. Additional calcium-infused options are leafy greens, almonds, nuts, and dried beans.
Fiber – High-fiber foods keep the saliva flowing, which helps create mineral defenses against tooth decay. Healthy sources of fiber are dried fruits like raisins, and fresh fruits such as bananas, apples and, oranges. Veggies like Brussels sprouts and peas, peanuts, and oats are additional fiber options to keep your diet and menu fresh.
Whole Grains – Whole grains provide iron and vitamin B, which help keep gums healthy. Whole grains also contain magnesium which is a substantial ingredient for bones and teeth. In addition, whole grains are high in fiber. Look for foods such as bran, brown rice, and whole-grain cereals and pasta to be an excellent source of whole grains.