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February 7th, 2013

Three Steps to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Category: Uncategorized

You brush your teeth regularly. You do your best to floss. And, you regularly visit the dentist to combat plaque buildup so that you can feel good about your smile.

What other ways can you tweak your habits to make sure you keep your smile healthy for years to come? By looking at your nutrition!

Here are 3 ways to consider improving the health of your teeth and gums – after all, we have to have this set of teeth for the rest of our lifetime.

1. Look at the clock.

How often do you snack throughout the day? If you know you regularly snack, aim to start brushing your teeth after you do.

Why does it matter? Saliva acts as our natural defense against plaque buildup.

Because less saliva is released when you eat snacks compared to when you eat a meal, you can end up doing harm to your teeth if you do snack throughout the day.

2. Look on the labels for sugar. 

We won’t suggest to cut out all sugar from your diet. Instead, a more realistic and long-term approach is to begin by educating yourself on how much sugar you are already consuming.

Start to record where your sugar is coming from: is it liquids or from your food? The main goal here is to simply take note of what’s on our labels. Those breath mints you’re using throughout the day may be mostly sugar that’s just sitting on your teeth, for example.

Next time you have more than one pop, remember that the sugar is going to act as an acid as it sits on your pearly whites! And even if the drink is diet or sugar-free, that highly acidic liquid will erode your teeth over time.

If you’re motivated to, set a realistic goal to live a lifestyle that allows you to cut back on some of that sugar in your diet to help your teeth (and waistline and energy levels) in the long-run. 

3. Aim high.

Did you realize a diet low in nutrients is a risk factor for plaque buildup?

The nutrient content of foods is quantified by the ANDI, or Aggregate Nutrient Density Index. The index evaluates vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant and is on a scale of 1, on the low end, to 1000.

Some of the most nutrient dense foods include green vegetables such as bok choy and spinach.

Here’s a snapshot of how some other foods compare:

  • Kale (1000)
  • Collard Greens (1000)
  • Strawberries (212)
  • Black Beans (83)
  • Avocado (37)
  • American Cheese (10)

Since your diet can help you improve your ability to fight off infection and help you feel more confident, it’s worth it to incorporate some of these and other whole foods in your diet. We like to be positive, but the reverse is true, too – having a low amount of nutrients in your diet can hinder your ability to fight off gum infection!

Have any recipes with any of these ingredients? Or have another ingredient that you know is loaded with vitamins or minerals? Let us know on Facebook or in the comment section.

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