Friday, April 26, 2013

Nutrition and Your Dental Health

Taking excellent care of your teeth and gums requires much more than regular brushing and flossing. When you view your set of teeth as your body's food processor, it should become more apparent that the foods you eat play a major role in your dental health. Just like there are certain foods that can wreak havoc on a food-processing appliance, the same holds true for your teeth!

A healthy diet comprised of whole foods as opposed to packaged or processed choices plays a key role, not only in maintaining your dental health, but the health of your entire body. Try to eat a diet that is heavy on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meats and fish. Always be on the lookout for snacks and beverages that fit into one of those basic categories. With all processed food there is the almost guaranteed risk of added fat, sugar, sodium, refined flour, and artificial ingredients, such as colors and flavorings. To avoid sabotaging a healthy diet, learn to read and understand food labels and ingredient lists. Just like bad gas can ruin a car's engine, what you eat and drink directly impacts your dental and overall health. Other things to consider when making good choices for your teeth and gums are:
  • What form is the food in? Will it stick to your teeth, stain them or linger between them, causing bacterial growth and possible decay?
  • Sugar and acid are present in many beverages, including milk, fruit juices and soft drinks. Even sugars and acids that occur naturally are linked to tooth decay and should be consumed rarely. Water is always the beverage of choice.
  • If you can't brush after each meal or snack, remember to eat something that can help clean around the teeth, such as an apple, celery, or carrot. Or drink a cup of plain herbal tea because flavonoids and other ingredients in tea seem to prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth, and also block production of a type of sugar that contributes to cavities. Tea also contains high amounts of fluoride.
It is up to you to look after your body! In addition to regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist and family doctor, take charge by:
Visit these sites to learn more about adopting a healthy diet for you and your whole family: and

Contact Dr. Simon Melcher and the staff at Implant & General Dentistry in Raleigh to schedule your next appointment: 919-782-0548.

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