10 Nutritional Strategies that Help Keep Your Teeth & Gums Healthy
Oral health is a crucial part of our overall health and quality of life, however, it’s often most overlooked. Oral health not only covers the state of teeth, gums, mouth, and orofacial structures that allows us to eat, breathe, and speak, but also encompasses psychosocial aspects, such as self-confidence and the ability to socialize and work with no discomfort and embarrassment. It varies over a lifetime from early life to old age. There exists a range of oral diseases and conditions, such as gum disease, dental caries, oral cancer, tooth loss, and birth defects like cleft lip. Taking care of our dental health can help prevent tooth decay and many other unhealthy conditions. For that purpose, World Oral Health Day is celebrated on 20th March every year to raise awareness about problems related to oral health and the significance of oral hygiene. In 2021, a three-year campaign was launched to run from 2021 through 2023 with the theme “Be Proud of Your Mouth”. So, the theme of World Oral Health Day 2023 is “Be Proud of Your Mouth.” It emphasizes valuing and caring for oral health and taking the right decision to protect it. This year – 2023, World Oral Health Day will focus on the significance of caring for your mouth at every stage of your life. Fortunately, eating right can help you improve your oral health and keep various dental health issues at bay.
So, you might be wondering what dietary measures you should follow to care for your dental health, aren’t you? Check out this list of easy yet effective diet tips that can help you maintain your oral health effortlessly.
10 Nutritional Strategies and Diet Tips to Improve Your Oral Health:
Restrict Sugar Intake:
Sugary foods are detrimental to your oral health. Excess sugar, carbohydrates, and starchy foods can lead to tooth decay. Sweets and desserts contain acids that impact the enamel of your teeth, thereby leading to decay. The increased frequency of the consumption of sugar is even more harmful to our teeth. Sipping sugary beverages repeatedly causes greater hits of sugar on the teeth. That is why sugary sodas and energy drinks are dangerous to oral health. Also, the highly acidic nature of sugary beverages promotes demineralization.
A diet comprising processed and refined carbohydrate food can cause tooth decay and gingival inflammation. So, try to avoid them. If you can’t avoid sweets, have them along with dinner or lunch as our mouth produces more saliva during whole meals. It helps breaks down acids and avoids dental harm.
Relish Raw, Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables Daily:
Eating raw vegetables and fruits helps clean your teeth markedly. You may add carrots, bell peppers, and apples, among others to your daily diet. Having an apple as a dessert post lunch will help in eliminating material sticking to your teeth surface. Also, naturally occurring xylitol is present in apples which helps promote good dental health.
Keep a Check on the Intake of Acidic Drinks:
Drinking acidic beverages can wear off your teeth’s enamel. Soft drinks, fruit juices, coffee, soda, and sports drinks can damage your teeth. Limit the intake of these drinks. You may use a straw to drink them to protect your teeth from damage. Also, drinking water after having acidic drinks can mitigate the acidic effect.
Drink Green Tea:
Green tea is a healthy beverage that helps improve the health of your gums and teeth. It reduces inflammation, inhibits cavity-causing bacteria from growing in your mouth, and makes your mouth more alkaline. Also, sipping this herbal tea regularly prevents tooth loss, improves your breath by killing odor-causing bacteria, and may even slow the progression of oral cancer. So, have green tea daily.
Prefer Whole, Nutritious Foods More:
Most often, consume foods rich in nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and other essential nutrients. For this purpose, include leafy green vegetables, beans, fish, plain yoghurt, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, and hard-aged cheeses. Additionally, make sure that you spend some time in sunlight every morning to receive a healthy dose of vitamin D.
Cranberries and plant-based foods, such as raspberries, blueberries, red cabbage, and eggplant peel, are rich in anthocyanins. They help prevent the pathogens from getting attached to and colonizing your teeth (the host tissues). Drinking cranberry juice also minimizes plaque by up to 95%, as it reduces the sugars in your mouth. Also, it makes it quite difficult for acids to generate in your mouth. So, cranberry helps minimize damage to your tooth enamel.
Boost Arginine in Your Diet:
Arginine is a crucial amino acid that plays a key role in improving oral health. It helps alter and maintain oral pH. Maintaining a pH-neutral environment in your mouth helps minimize the chances of dental cavities and relieves dentin sensitivity rapidly. So, arginine is an inevitable ingredient for several dental care products. You can increase your intake of arginine by adding lentils, soy, spinach, whole grains, seafood, eggs, and nuts to your diet.
Avoid Sticky, Chewy Foods:
Eating sticky, chewy foods can stick in your teeth, thereby making it difficult for your saliva to wash away. This is particularly true in children. Caramel, raisins, jelly beans, granola bars, peanut butter cookies, and syrup may stick to your teeth. If you devour these foods, make sure that you brush your teeth soon after you eat them.
Chew Xylitol Gums after Meals:
Xylitol is known to be a natural sugar alcohol found in plants, even vegetables and fruits. Natural sugar alcohols do not harm your teeth. Xylitol tastes sweet and, often, is used as a substitute for sugar. Xylitol is effective in increasing the production of saliva and preventing bacteria in your mouth from generating acids that can lead to dental cavities. When chewing xylitol gums, take care that you don’t go overboard, as it can cause bloating.
Also, you can chew gums made up of pycnogenol, an antioxidant extracted from the bark of maritime pine trees. The gums made using the sap or bark of the pine are effective in minimizing dental plaque and soothing the bleeding gums.
Probiotics help reduce plaque and the risk of gingivitis. The bacteria occurring in fermented foods might inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria that cause dental cavities. The intake of fermented dairy food is found to have a link with lesser risks of periodontal diseases. Also, yoghurt and cheese are rich in calcium and protein. So, eating them strengthens your teeth and improves your dental health. Include yoghurt without any added sugar to your daily diet.
7 Simple Routine Tips to Maintain Good Oral Health:
Besides the above dietary measures, some good habits can promote good oral health. Here is a quick rundown of simple yet highly effective tips that can help you enjoy good dental health.
- Brush your teeth twice a day daily.
- Use fluoride-containing toothpaste, as it helps reverse early tooth decay.
- Floss once a day to remove food particles between your teeth.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking can harm your gums and teeth. So, avoid smoking.
- Do Exercises Regularly: Regular exercise can protect you against periodontal diseases.
- Maintain a Lean, Healthy Body: Excessive body fat can lead to poor systemic health, thereby leading to poor dental health.
- Do Regular Dental Check-Ups and Cleanings.
So, let’s pledge this World Oral Health Day to follow these healthy dietary and lifestyle measures and spread the word about them to help a maximum number of people enjoy good oral health. Consulting certified nutritionists, such as health experts at Health Total, can help you receive a customised diet for good oral health. Our diet plan for dental well-being not only contains foods beneficial for your oral health but also helps eliminate nutritional deficiencies, manages weight, and boosts your immunity. So, waste no time, reach out to us at Health Total and pave your way to have a healthier mouth and happier life with our customised diet plan.
Sign up for a FREE consultation with Health Total experts to get more tips for improving your oral health with the right dietary measures or managing any other health condition. Call toll-free at 1-800-833-171709 and Book Free Consultation!