Everyone wants the perfect smile. And if you already have one, you probably want to keep it that way.
The best way to achieve this is to be careful about what you put into your body, especially when it’s passing through your mouth!
Other than the classic recommendations by doctors and dentists everywhere saying you should brush and floss regularly, there are other ways you can make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout your life…through better nutrition!
Here ten simple tips for better oral health.
1. Limit Your Intake of Sugary Foods and Drinks
There’s a big misconception most people have about eating sugar – that it’ll rot your teeth.
But the truth is: sugar itself doesn’t cause tooth decay! However, if you do eat foods containing a lot of sugar, you’ll be opening your mouth up to be a home for all sorts of nasty oral bacteria that will cause tooth decay and worse.
Oral bacteria are big fans of carbohydrates like sugar, and produce acid as a byproduct of fermentation. That acid slowly eats away at your enamel layer, weakening your teeth.
Gummy or hard candies, sodas, processed fruit snacks or dried fruits, all of these are full of sugar that adheres to the teeth and feeds oral bacteria.
So don’t let that plaque and the oral bacteria with it damage your teeth. Limit your sugar consumptionto reasonable amounts, and brush regularly.
2. Get More Calcium
Including more calcium in your diet isn’t just about building strong bones, it’s also great for your teeth.
Studies have shown for decades the major benefits of calcium on the skeleton, but there had not been much research into its effects on tooth health until recently.
In a 2001 study, researchers followed more than 140 older adults for a period of five years, examining their teeth periodically. The participants were given either 500 milligrams of calcium and 700 units of vitamin D every day or a placebo.
Those participants given the actual calcium and vitamin D supplements had a 40% lower risk of losing one or more teeth.
“Now we know that supplementation may also improve tooth retention, along with routine dental care and good oral hygiene”, Elizabeth Krall, MPH, PhD, from Boston University Dental School and Tufts University Nutrition Research Center.
3. Prioritize Healthier Snacks
I’m well acquainted with the mid-afternoon desire for a quick snack because you’re between meals – dinner isn’t for a few more hours yet!
Some snacks that are good for your oral health include:
- Raw almonds
But remember, floss and brush regularly.
4. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain significant quantities of vitamin C and vitamin A, which are important for healthy gums and building enamel.
Here are some good options:
Try and include as many vegetables and fruit in your diet as you can, assuming they fit your macros, not just for your teeth, but for your whole body as well.
5. Give Up Tobacco
While you should quit smoking for a numerous other reasons, quitting will also be better for your teeth and gums.
Smoking weakens your immune system, making it harder for your mouth to fight off a gum infection. As a matter of fact, smokers have twice the risk for gum disease compared with a nonsmoker.
And, after the infection damages the gums, continuing smoking makes it more difficult for your gums to heal.
And it’s not just smoking. Consuming tobacco in all its forms – cigarettes, spit tobacco, pipes – can raise your risk for gum disease. So please, quit using tobacco.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is extremely important to your overall health.
Some of these tips are pretty obvious, but you may not have known the real reasons why they work.
Aside from these tips, you should definitely stick to the traditional routine of brushing and flossing as often as possible. There’s a reason why that’s one recommendation that will likely never change.
Hopefully now you’ll have some new, clearer guidelines of how you can ensure your mouth is a clean, healthy place where your pearly whites can shine bright as ever.