As you know, a balanced, nutritious diet is essential to healthy living. Poor nutrition can lead to many types of health issues, including oral health problems including gum disease and cavities. In fact, studies show that people who have lost teeth or wear dentures don’t eat as many fruits or vegetables and tend to have less nutritious diets overall.
According to MyPlate, a website from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, an agency of U.S. Department of Agriculture, a balanced diet should include:
- Fruits and vegetables. Combined these should be half of what you eat every day.
- Grains. Make sure at least half of the grains you eat are whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
- Dairy. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.
- Lean proteins. Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Try and vary your protein choices to include eggs, beans, peas and legumes, too. Eat at least 8 oz. of seafood a week
Water is #1!
Water, especially fluoridated water, is the best beverage for maintaining your oral health. That’s because fluoride helps to make teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that can cause cavities. As of 2012, nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population had access to fluoridated water, so drinking water from your own kitchen sink can help prevent dental problems
If possible, choose dairy
Milk, and other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, are low in sugar, which is a good thing for your dental health. Plus, they contain protein and are full of calcium, which can help to strengthen your teeth.
Phosphorus-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs help to strengthen your teeth and contain valuable protein.
Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and veggies are an important part of any balanced diet, and they are also good for your teeth. Since they are high in water and fiber, they help to balance the sugars they contain and help to clean your teeth. Chewing also helps to stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids and food particles away from your teeth.
Nuts contain protein and minerals important for overall health. In addition, nuts that are low in carbohydrates don’t add to your risk of cavities. Why? Because tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria that are activated by carbs. Another benefit is that chewing nuts stimulates saliva production, which can reduce your risk for tooth decay.