Oral health and your diet (via @InsideHalton)

26 Mar

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We hear about maintaining good oral hygiene through proper brushing and flossing, but Dr. Branko Radisic Dental, with offices in Milton and Mississauga, poses something that few of us ever consider: how a good diet can be important to good oral health.

Our food choices can be as important to our oral health as how we care for our teeth. The mouth, teeth, and gums are on the forefront of the digestive process. When the quality of our food choices suffers, the effects of that poor diet tend to show first in the teeth and gums.

An agency for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, called the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion recommends the following for a healthy diet:

Fruits and vegetables – all together, these should cover half your plate at meals;

Grains – no less than half the grains you consume should be whole grains, examples are oatmeal, whole wheat, and brown rice;

Diary – go with low-fat or fat-free dairy foods;

Protein – Lean protein choices are best, such as lean beef, skinless poultry, and fish. Vary this to include eggs, beans, peas, and legumes. As well, try to consume eight ounces of seafood each week.

For purposes of dental health, snacking should (ideally) be limited between meals. Since this isn’t always realistic, try to avoid common culprits of tooth decay like sweets and chips. Instead, go with nutritious choices like cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. These foods will be far better for your overall health as much as your oral health.

As well, here are nine major offenders of gum and dental disease that you should watch out for:

Hard candy – if you eat too much too often, all that exposure to sugar will have a damaging effect to your teeth and gums;

Ice – despite what you may have heard, ice is not good for your teeth. It can damage enamel and lead to dental emergencies;

Citrus and acidic foods – frequent exposure can harm your teeth’s enamel. Also, citrus fruits and juices can irritate mouth sores;

Coffee (and tea) – in their natural form, these can actually be healthy food choices. But problems happen when people “dress up” these beverages, particularly when sugar is involved. Also, tea and coffee can stain your teeth;

Sticky foods – even dried fruits become a problem for your teeth. If you must indulge, brush, floss, and rinse thoroughly afterward;

Potato chips – chips contain starch and tend to get caught between your teeth. Make it a habit to brush and floss after enjoying them;

Sodas (pop) – the majority of carbonated beverages, including diet versions, are acidic, which are bad for your teeth. Caffeinated beverages like colas can dry out your mouth;

Alcohol – any alcohol consumption will cause dehydration and a dry mouth. Heavy alcohol use will increase your risk for mouth cancer;

Sports drinks – although these drinks sound healthy, they are often loaded with sugar. When in doubt, drink water!

Hopefully, this will provide some insight into how the foods we eat can affect our dental health. Along with good habits of brushing and flossing, we can all take steps to ensure the health of our teeth and gums, as well as our overall well-being.

To learn more and to establish a great dental-care program for you and your loved ones, contact Dr. Branko Radisic Dental. The clinic has locations in Milton and Mississauga, and provides extensive services in general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, and periodontics.

Source: http://www.insidehalton.com/shopping-story/5525191-oral-health-and-your-diet/

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