As a cosmetic and restorative dentist, I always tell my patients to take good care of their teeth. But what does that mean, exactly? Sure, you know that you need to brush twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and an ADA-approved toothpaste. You also know that you should floss once a day. Other than that, what is there?
They say, you are what you eat. To some extent, that’s true. It’s also true that your teeth are seriously affected by what you put in your mouth. Here are some basic guidelines for eating healthy, as far as your mouth is concerned.
- Starches and sugars turn to acids in the mouth, and those acids eat away at tooth enamel. Snacking all day, or sipping a sugary or acidic drink throughout the day, is NOT good for your teeth. The best rule of thumb is to finish your meal, snack, or drink, then rinse your mouth with water. Don’t let starches, sugars, and acids sit in your mouth all day long.
- Cheese, milk products, crisp fruits and veggies, and green tea are good for your oral health. Dairy products increase your calcium, which strengthens teeth against decay. Also, cheese can actually prevent demineralization, the precursor to tooth decay. One study shows that cheese helps balance the pH in your mouth, as well. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, and the act of chewing them increases saliva production, which, in turn, helps cleanse the mouth of bacteria and debris. The chewing action also massages gum tissue, which is good, as well.
- Nuts and whole grains are rich in calcium, phosphate, and magnesium. These minerals are wonderful for oral health.
- If you chew gum, use sugarless. Gums are better than mints and candy.
If you take good care of your teeth, they’ll take good care of you – and may last you a lifetime. Today, more people than ever before are keeping their natural teeth throughout life. Want to learn more about dental care? Subscribe to this blog, and visit my office, Back Mountain Dental, in Trucksville, PA. My team and I serve patients from the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre areas, and we’d love the opportunity to become your preferred dental practice.