Brushing and flossing regularly are essential habits for healthy teeth, but did you know that nutrition is also important to the overall health of your mouth? It’s especially important to help kids start healthy eating habits while they’re young and their teeth are still developing. Here are the top nutrition tips to keep your family’s oral health strong.
1. Don’t Put the Baby to Bed with a Bottle
Many people like to put their baby to bed with a bottle of milk or other drink. However, this seemingly harmless practice actually allows bacteria to flourish and can lead to tooth decay. Giving your baby a bottle at night is okay, but make sure you follow it up with a gentle tooth-brushing session (or simply wiping their gums with a warm washcloth if they don’t have teeth yet) before putting your baby in bed.
2. Eat Plenty of Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
The standard American diet is extremely high in sugar. While avoiding sugar entirely may not be practical, it is best to limit consumption of sweets and sodas since they increase the risk of cavities. Even so-called “fruit” drinks contain highly concentrated amounts of sugar and should not be consumed in excess. Make sure to check the nutrition facts to get the real scoop on how much sugar is involved, even if a beverage claims to be fruit-based. If you or your children do have sweets, make sure to brush soon afterwards.
3. Avoid Sugary Foods
The standard American diet is extremely high in sugar, and while it may not be practical to avoid sugar altogether, it is best to limit consumption of sweets and sodas since they increase the risk of cavities. Even so-called “fruit” drinks contain highly concentrated amounts of sugar and should not be consumed in excess. If you or your children do have sweets, make sure to brush soon afterwards.
4. Drink Water with Food
Drinking water with each meal helps to wash away food particles and bacteria that might otherwise become stuck on or between the teeth and contribute to tooth decay. Taking a drink of water immediately after a meal serves the same purpose and can keep your mouth from becoming too dry.
A nutritious diet is just as important for oral health as brushing and flossing. Improving your current diet can be as easy as adding an extra portion of vegetables or fruit to a meal, eating fewer sweets, and increasing your water intake. Small changes can make a big difference.
Talk with your dentist about how your nutrition and oral health are connected. If you don’t have your next check-up on the calendar yet, make an appointment with Roseman Dental for affordable quality dental care.