We’ve all done it: made a New Years resolution to eat healthier. Some of us have succeeded and some of us haven’t. But in 2016, there’s another reason to keep up with your healthy eating resolution – a healthy and nutritious diet is good for your oral health too! Newport News, VA Dentist Dr. William Harper reminds all patients that a healthy smile is the most beautiful smile!
Poor nutrition affects the entire body, mouth included. A diet that lacks important daily vitamins and nutrients compromises the immune system, making us more susceptible to those winter colds and flus. Those with lower immune systems are also more susceptible to periodontal disease.
What you drink is just as important as what you eat. The recommended daily water intake is eight 8-ounce glasses a day. Water not only keeps you hydrated but it also keeps your mouth moist. Saliva protects oral tissues and helps wash away foods. Water with fluoride protects the teeth the most. Soft drinks, sugar-filled juices, and sodas cling to your teeth and promote tooth decay. Sipping these drinks is a constant bath of sugar over the teeth.
Mindless snacking is not only hard on your waistline, but it also creates an environment for bacteria to develop. The best foods for snacking include firm or crunchy fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, nuts, and milk. These snacks include calcium, which protects tooth enamel, or have high water content, diluting sugar and stimulating saliva.
When you eat foods as part of a meal, saliva helps wash foods and acidity from the mouth. Meals should include a variety of foods from each of the major food groups, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and dairy.
Foods that are particularly bad for your health (candy, sweets, chips, etc.) are also particularly bad for your teeth. The sugars in these foods adhere to teeth and create bacteria, causing your mouth to release acids and lead to tooth decay.
So while you’re resolving to eat better and get that healthy diet on track, keep in mind the added benefits for your oral health too. A well-balanced diet, combined with good daily brushing and flossing habits can lead to a healthier and more beautiful you!
Schedule A Routine Care Visit
If part of your new year resolution is to restore your healthy smile, we welcome you to our Newport News, VA dentist office. Call our office or use our online request form to schedule a visit with Dr. Harper.