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.
There are many worthwhile resolutions to set for the New Year, but if you have always set a goal to be healthier there is something you should know: good dental health can help with your overall health. You will thank yourself in the future for making your mouth a priority, so to help you in your efforts, consider the following goals.
Brush and Floss Twice a Day
Good teeth are often the result of good oral hygiene. It is important to brush and floss twice each day to prevent gum disease and decay. You should also change your toothbrush a few times each year.
It is also smart to look for toothpastes and mouth rinses that contain fluoride. This can strengthen the enamel on your teeth. However, it should be used sparingly, especially in young children.
Rinse After Eating
Rinsing your mouth with water or brushing your teeth after meals is a great habit that can promote oral health. Rinsing your mouth can minimize bacteria and help prevent gum problems.
Choose the Right Foods
The foods you eat can also improve your oral health. There is research that indicates that omega-3 fats strengthen your gums and reduce disease. It is also a good idea to eat a well-balanced diet that is filled with protein (lean meats), grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. In addition, try to avoid consuming too much sugar as an abundance of sugar can cause the enamel on the teeth to decay.
Get Regular Checkups
Regular appointments with a dentist can also help you prevent oral health issues and care for your teeth. If you have young children, make sure they visit the doctor early. In most cases, every six months is appropriate for a checkup. However, people with gum disease should see the dentist more often.
Make these goals a part of your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions. By following them, you can promote oral health and enjoy a beautiful smile.
Brushing and flossing regularly can keep your teeth and gums healthy and your smile bright, but good oral hygiene benefits more than just your mouth. When you take care of your teeth and gums, you’re taking care of your whole body.
- Healthier Heart – Flossing keeps your gums healthy, but it can protect your heart as well. People with periodontal disease may have an increased risk of developing heart disease and may double their risk of experiencing a fatal heart attack. Gum disease can also lead to inflammation throughout the body, which is detrimental to your body and heart. On the other hand, healthy gums can contribute to a healthy heart.
- Healthier Pregnancy – Pregnancy can take a toll on a woman’s oral health, and starting off with healthy habits can protect you from the gum disease and increased cavities some pregnant women experience. Poor oral health may also increase your risk of delivering prematurely, so good oral hygiene is important for the health and safety of both you and your unborn baby.
- Improved Diabetes Management – If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to know that you may be more prone to gum disease. You should also know that gum disease may affect your diabetes by increasing your insulin resistance. This two-way link between diabetes and gum disease makes it extremely important to maintain healthy oral care habits.
- Early Cancer Detection – Dentists are trained to detect early signs of oral cancer in the gums, lips, tongue and cheeks, so a regular checkup can alert you to a potential problem while it is still in the early stages. Oral cancer can advance quickly, so early detection can be lifesaving.
- Weight Management – Brushing can signal to your brain that you are finished eating, preventing you from snacking once a meal is complete. Brush and floss about 30 minutes after meals to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but also to prevent overeating and mindless snacking between meals.
Dentists recommend that you brush and floss at least twice a day, and that you schedule a cleaning and checkup twice a year. By maintaining good oral hygiene, you protect your teeth as well as your health.
Your teeth and mouth are an extremely important part of your body. If you don’t take care of oral health, you may experience a range of problems from difficulty and pain when trying to eat and talk to severe inflammation, infection, and even tooth loss. By adhering to a basic regimen, you enjoy a better chance of having healthy teeth for a lifetime.
Brush and Floss Your Teeth
Don’t forget to brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes. Take care to thoroughly target every surface, including teeth near the back of your mouth that are harder to reach. Use fluoride toothpaste and make sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, and floss once a day.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Ideally, you should visit a dentist regularly for professional cleanings, and more often if you cope with problems such as sensitivity, crooked teeth or excessive decay. During appointments, be sure to ask the provider if he or she has any specific suggestions for how you should best care for your teeth at home between appointments.
Instill Good Oral Health Habits
Proper dental care begins at a young age. Soon after your baby is born, wipe his or her gums with a soft cloth. That gets the infant used to having someone gently tend to his or her mouth. Then, once teeth begin to break through the gums, brush them gently with water and a baby-sized toothbrush.
Once a child is old enough, instruct him or her how to properly brush teeth and emphasize how important it is that the toothpaste gets spit into the sink rather than swallowed. Always just use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, so if any accidental swallowing does occur, there shouldn’t be any harmful consequences.
It’s also important that you set a good example for kids by brushing your own teeth well and visiting your dentist regularly.
Thanks to proactive measures like these, you can avoid many major dental problems and enjoy a beautiful and healthy smile for your whole life.
There are more things you can do to whiten your teeth besides switch toothpaste, visit your dentist, and use whitening strips and trays. Even if you’re already taking these actions, there are several other steps you can take to brighten your smile without spending a lot of money.
Swap Your Toothbrush More Often
Trade out your old toothbrush for a new one every three months or whenever your bristles start to look faded and worn. Doing so ensures that your toothbrush is always providing the proper friction for scrubbing your teeth cleaner and whiter.
Avoid Eating Dark Pigment Foods
No matter how much you might like blueberries, marinara sauce, soy sauce and other dark foods, they aren’t doing your teeth any favors. Such foods can leave stains on your teeth thanks to their dark pigmentation. While not all dark foods are necessarily bad, it’s a good idea to limit how much of these types of foods you eat and make sure you enjoy them with plenty of water to help reduce the chances of staining.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
While not as powerful as other whitening methods, rinsing with apple cider vinegar is a natural way to help brighten your smile (though perhaps not a very enjoyable one). To make the most of this tip, you’ll want to rinse your mouth out for a full minute with a mixture of one part apple cider and two parts water.
Avoid Drinking Energy Drinks
Besides dark foods, tea, coffee and red wine, energy drinks have also been known to cause staining on your teeth due to high acid content. Acid is also found in citrus fruits, so you’ll want to be careful of those as well. If you simply can’t go without your energy drink or soda, it’s better that you drink it through a straw to keep the liquid from coming into direct contact with your teeth.
Making a few small changes can do wonders not only for the color of your teeth, but for your overall oral health. Pay attention to the small signs that your teeth and mouth might be giving you about the state of your teeth to get a whiter smile and a healthier mouth.