Healthy eating is essential for your wellbeing, including your dental health. Poor eating habits have been linked to a number of oral health issues, including tooth decay and gum disease. In honor of National Nutrition Month, Dr. Wayne Sutton of Sonoma Smiles shares his top nutrition tips for a healthier mouth.
1. Limit Acidic Foods
Frequent consumption of acidic foods, including lemons, grapefruit and oranges, can erode teeth enamel and, as a result, increase the risk of decay. To protect your teeth, eat acidic foods in moderation and drink plenty of water afterwards to wash the acidity from your mouth.
2. Cut the Soda
Soda and other carbonated drinks contain sugar as well as citric and phosphoric acid, all of which can weaken enamel and make teeth susceptible to decay. For good oral health, limit the amount of soda you drink. When you do drink soda, follow it up with water to rinse the mouth.
3. Snack on Fruits and Veggies
As a general rule, you should limit snacking. However, if you do snack, opt for healthy options. Ditch the chips for fruits and veggies, which are essential for a balanced diet and oral health. Since they are high in water, they clean the teeth and wash acids and food particles from your teeth.
Nuts (e.g., almonds, pumpkin seeds) are also a great snacking option as they contain teeth-friendly nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
4. Choose Dairy
Dairy products, including milk, cheese and yogurt, are low in sugar yet high in calcium, making them a great choice for boosting oral health. Calcium has long been known to strengthen both the teeth and jawbone.
5. Chew Sugarless Gum
Studies show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay. Sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which helps rinse the mouth of food and bacteria, and neutralize acids produced by bacteria. When buying sugarless gum, look for one with the ADA seal of approval.
Schedule an Appointment with Sonoma Smiles
For more nutrition tips for good oral health or to schedule a routine dental exam, please contact Sonoma Smiles at (707) 585-2555.
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(All photos of actual patients)