Eating your Way to Better Oral Health

drink milk

When you think of how your eating habits affect your teeth, avoiding sticky sugary treats or hard foods is probably what comes to mind. However, as any dentist or orthodontist will tell you, what you do eat is just as important – if not more – than what you don’t!

How Does Nutrition Affect Dental Health?

Good oral hygiene and dental care goes beyond brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing regularly. Your teeth and gums need a variety of vitamins and minerals, calcium and even proteins to remain healthy.

Gums provide a strong base for your teeth, holding them firmly in place when you are chewing. A nutrient deficiency that weakens the gums can also cause crooked teeth. Including all the major food groups in your diet is essential for keeping your teeth in good shape and reducing the need for orthodontic treatment.

Vitamin D is another essential part of oral health. Deficiency can lead to a painful condition called ‘burning mouth syndrome’, which manifests as a scalding or burning sensation in the lips, tongue, palette or even the entire mouth. Vitamin D also helps your body absorb calcium, which promotes healthy teeth and bones.

Getting the Right Nutrients for Better Oral Health

To prevent tooth and gum problems, here are a few foods which you should make an effort to eat daily:

  • Milk and Eggs – Milk and eggs are rich in proteins, which means they are great for maintaining healthy teeth and strengthening the gums. Apart from being one of the most easily available sources for dietary calcium, a nutrient that’s necessary for strong teeth, milk also contains vitamin D which helps with calcium absorption in your body.
  • Cheese and Yogurt – Other than milk, there are many dairy products that are rich in vitamins and minerals needed for oral health. Cheese has high levels of proteins and calcium, and provides has the added benefit of reducing acidity. Yogurt is also a great calcium source and has plenty of probiotics or ‘good bacteria’ that improve digestion and immunity.
  • Lean Protein – Lean fish, poultry, meat and tofu are excellent sources of protein as well as phosphorus, a mineral which helps to protect the enamel on your teeth. Chicken and fish also contain vitamin B3, while almonds and other nuts contain B2 and iron. Avoid nuts if you wear metal or invisible braces, since they can damage dental braces or get stuck in them.
  • Green Vegetables – Leafy greens like spinach, broccoli and kale are very nutritious, and can give vegetarians most of the dietary proteins, calcium and vitamins that are found in meats. Fresh fruits and vegetables also promote the production of saliva, which helps to keep your teeth clean and dilutes mouth acids that can wear out tooth surfaces.

Food has a huge impact on your oral health, and a balanced nutritious diet is essential for keeping teeth and gums in good shape. If you want better oral health,  you need to start eating healthier!

Author Bio: Sharon William’s day job is to handle digital marketing for Koch Orthodontics in Lawrenceville, GA. With a flair for creating compelling content that clears the clutter and connects with the audience in an instant, she writes about dental topics to educate and help her readers. She truly believes that a genuine smile can win a million hearts and talks to her readers about improving their smiles and overall dental health, as well as enhancing their overall lifestyle. In her free time, she likes to organize small meets in her neighbourhood where she brings people together to discuss various topics that she writes about.

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