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Dental Care and Nutrition

nutritionPrevention is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But it takes more than exercise and regular trips to your doctor and dentist to do the trick. A well-balanced diet is often the key to keeping healthy, especially when it comes to oral health.

Your diet should generally include a variety of foods from the 5 major food groups:

  • Milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Vegetables
  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs and nuts
  • Fruit
  • Bread, cereal, rice and pasta

These help the body to get the nutrients it needs. If your diet is low in certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for your mouth to resist infection. This could eventually lead to periodontal disease, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plaque. Plaque is the sticky substance that forms on your teeth soon after you have brushed. In an effort to get rid of the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release substances that inflame and damage the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone.

It’s not only what you eat that can cause tooth decay, it’s how often and when you eat it. Foods eaten as part of a meal, are often less risky to your teeth than snacks. The reason is you produce additional saliva during meals, which helps to neutralize acid production caused by bacteria in plaque and also clears from the mouth.

As to where snacks stay in your mouth for long periods of time, especially hard or sticky candy. Acids can attack teeth during this time. Avoid snacking before going to bed, the foods stay in there all night and can cause cavities. That is why it is so important to brush and floss before going to bed!

Here are some tips to keep your smile bright:

  • Limit the number of your snacks and true to eat food that are low in sugar
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day especially after eating and before going to bed
  • Floss daily! Flossing helps remove plaque at the gum line and between your teeth.
  • Use dental products with fluoride like toothpastes and mouthwash

Be sure to go to your dentist regularly. It is recommended that you go every 6 months for x-rays, check-ups and cleanings.