As the holiday season approaches, many of us look forward to indulging in all the delicious treats that come along with it. However, with November being Good Nutrition Month, it's worth considering incorporating healthier options into our meals to support overall oral and general health and wellbeing. At our dental practice, our goal is to help you achieve and maintain healthy, strong, and bright teeth.
One of the foundational elements of a healthy smile is a balanced diet that protects teeth and gums. By eating nutritious foods, you not only provide your body with the necessary nutrients for optimal function, but you also help maintain your mouth's resistance to infection. Fresh fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, lean meats, and dairy products are all examples of mouth-healthy foods that can support your oral health.
It's important to be mindful of the detrimental effects of sugar on teeth. Unfortunately, sugar is added to many processed foods as a flavor enhancer and preservative, which can feed oral bacteria, leading to enamel damage, plaque, and tartar buildup. Sugary drinks like soda, as well as candy, cakes, pies, cookies, and even dried fruits, can all harm tooth enamel due to their high sugar content. Starchy foods like bread, chips, cereals, and pretzels can also contribute to tooth decay when consumed regularly. Opting for fresh fruits like raw apples as a sweet snack can help satisfy cravings while also promoting oral health.
Acidic foods and drinks can also cause permanent damage to teeth and gums by eroding tooth enamel. Citrus and fruit juices, wine, soda, tonic water, sports drinks, and certain fruits and vegetables are all examples of highly acidic foods and drinks. To protect your teeth from acid attacks, it's best to wait at least 30 minutes after consuming these items before brushing. Rinsing your mouth with plain water for 30 seconds can also help remove food particles and oral debris.
Practicing good oral care habits, such as chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production, staying hydrated to prevent dry mouth, and attending biannual dental checkups, are all essential to maintaining a healthy smile. Our team in Edina, MN is here to support you in taking care of your teeth and gums, schedule your consultation with us so you can enjoy the holiday season while keeping your oral health in check.