Ten dietary tips for good oral health (via @team_taste)

15 Apr


Proper nutrition means eating a balanced diet so your body gets the right nutrients. Following these tips will improve your health and oral hygiene.

1. Avoid snacking between meals

Snacking between meals can be bad for both your diet and your oral health. Snacks tend to be sugary and when we consume sugary foods and drinks plaque acid is formed, causing the teeth
to start to decay.

It takes your saliva around 40 mins to start protecting your mouth after a meal, so three regular
meals a day, without snacking, leaves enough time for your teeth to recover.

2. Avoid foods high in refined sugars

Refined sugars are bad for your teeth and gums as they can cause damage through decay.
Natural sugars in fruit are generally considered to be ok, however try to stay away from lollies,
candy and sweets etc.

3. Avoid high acid food and drinks

Acidy drinks soften the tooth’s surface and can eventually cause erosion. Drinks with a high
level of acidity include most fizzy soft drinks, sports drinks and citrus juices. Acidy foods to be
aware of include citrus fruits and pickles.

4. Eat calcium-rich foods

It might sound obvious but calcium is absolutely essential in maintaining strong and healthy
teeth. Ensure you eat plenty of dairy products, such as cheese, yoghurt and milk – low-fat
options are just as good. Calcium is also present in leafy greens such as broccoli and bok choy,
canned fish with bones, almonds, Brazil nuts and dried beans.

5. Drink more water

Although it’s known that water is crucial to overall wellbeing, it is also hugely important for your
oral health. Water contains fluoride which helps strengthen the teeth and protect against decay
and cavities. Drinking water after meals also helps wash away any leftover food particles that
may be around the teeth, preventing bacteria build up.

Water also increases the volume of saliva, which is a natural lubricant for the mouth. If you are
dehydrated saliva flow will be reduced which not only feels uncomfortable, but can also cause

6. Avoid eating hard foods

Teeth are not unbreakable – hard and crunchy foods can cause significant damage. Foods such
as hard candy and crusty bread can break or chip teeth, especially those with fillings. Try to
avoid such foods and if treating yourself to the occasional piece of hard candy, be sure to suck
on it before chewing.

7. Good nutrition is essential for gum health

Our overall immune system needs to be at its optimum to resist bacteria that causes gum
disease. When you’re run down or your health is compromised, you’re more prone to mouth
infections such as ulcers. Make sure you’re eating plenty of healthy fruit and vegetables and
supplement with a multi-vitamin if needed.

8. Alcohol, tobacco and even coffee should be kept to a minimum

These vices can cause real trouble for teeth and gums. Tobacco, coffee and red wine can cause
discolouration of the teeth which looks and feels very unhealthy. Chemicals in wine, beer, spirits
and cider can cause tooth erosion which can be irreversible.

9. Chew Gum

Sugar-free chewing gum is handy for helping teeth in between brushes. It helps to dislodge food
that has become lodged in between the teeth and increases saliva flow.

10. Eat Fibre and Whole Grains

Eating high-fibre foods keeps your saliva flowing which helps protect your teeth. Good sources
of fibre are dried fruits such as dates, raisins and figs, and fresh fruits, like bananas, apples and
oranges. Other options include vegetables, such as beans, Brussels sprouts and peas, along with
peanuts and almonds.

Wholegrains are an important ingredient for bones, teeth and gums as they are rich in B
vitamins and iron. They are also high in fibre so keep an eye out for foods such as brown rice,
whole-grain cereals and pasta which are all good sources of wholegrains.

Source: http://www.taste.com.au/news+features/articles/2831/ten+dietary+tips+for+good+oral+health


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