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Does it seem like you or your children get frequent toothaches and don’t know why? Does it seem like you always have to make a trip to the dentist because you’ve found another cavity?

Most Americans, adults, and children have cavities. And the biggest cause of cavities comes from the foods we eat. The foods we eat, not only affect our bodies, they affect our oral health.

Bad foods weaken our oral health and cause decay that can lead to infections. But on the other hand, good foods full of nutrition strengthen our teeth and gums, promoting oral dental health.

In this post, you’ll learn about healthy nutrition and how healthy foods improve your mouth and smile and bad foods harm them. Follow these seven tips for a clean, healthy mouth.

Healthy Nutrition Tips to Promote a Healthy Mouth

These tips and tricks will help you have better oral health. Incorporate them into your diet and eating habits for the best results.

1. Stay Away From Sugar

Sugary foods are the enemy to your teeth and oral health. They rot your teeth, especially when you don’t brush and floss regularly.

Although they taste good, snacks with sugar are detrimental to your teeth, as well as your body. Foods like ice cream, candy, cookies, and cakes that we all love to eat cause tooth decay.

Many foods with sugar in them also contain fat. That goes for table sugar and foods that contain high amounts of sucrose, corn sweeteners and even fructose made from fruit.

If you or your family eat them regularly without frequent brushing,  you’re sure to get tooth decay.

How They Harm Your Teeth

We all have germs or bacteria in our mouths that is invisible to the human eye. Bacteria turns into plaque that deposits on our teeth’s surface.

When we eat sugary foods, the sugar absorbs into the plaque and transforms into acids. These acids often weaken the tooth enamel that protects our teeth. This is usually how cavities begin.

When we don’t consume much sugar, the bacteria in our mouths doesn’t produce the acid-eating enamel on our teeth.

2. How to Protect Ourselves From Sugary Foods

Before you buy food at the grocery store, it’s important to look at the ingredients on the label.

Knowing what’s in the food you eat is essential to healthy nutrition. Ask yourself if the food is packed with sugar. If it is, consider getting something healthier.

If you have to have sweets, know that some sweets are worse than others. Sugary sweets that stick to your teeth like chewy snacks stick to the surface of your teeth longer than foods that aren’t gooey or chewy.

Since chewy snacks that stick to your teeth remain in your mouth longer than snacks we chew quickly and then swallow, it’s obvious they’re more harmful. 

3. If You Must Eat Sugary Foods, Don’t Eat Them Frequently

How often you eat sugary snacks makes a difference. Having a snack once in a while doesn’t harm your oral health as much as when you eat them regularly throughout the day. 

It actually takes close to a half an hour for your mouth to neutralize the acids. The more often you eat sugary snacks, the more often you are giving the bacteria the fuel they need to survive and generate cavities.

If you must eat something sweet, eat them after lunch or dinner rather than eating them between meals.

Make sure to brush with a toothpaste that contains fluoride and floss between teeth after meals and snacks. Consistent brushing and dental flossing are key to a healthy mouth and smile. 

Aside from brushing and flossing, visit your dental hygienist regularly for a proper dental cleaning. This will also alert you to any developing oral health issues. You should get a dental cleaning every six months.

4. Consider a Sugar Substitute as a Replacement for Sugar

You’ve seen them on the shelves. Some brand names include Splenda, Equal, and Sweet-n-Low. These sugar substitutes taste sweet, but they’re not as harmful to your oral health as sugar. 

Some of the ingredients in artificial sweeteners include saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, sorbitol, and mannitol among a few others.

These aren’t as bad for your dental health as sugar because they don’t promote tooth decay since they don’t turn into acids that can harm your teeth and gums.

5. For Healthy Nutrition, Eat a Balanced Diet 

Want to promote healthy nutrition of your teeth and gums? Then eating a balanced diet will do just that.

Combining a variety of foods rich in nutrients from the five major food groups are not only good for your heart, organs, and systems, but they strengthen your teeth and gums.

Make sure to eat protein foods like fish and chicken, fruits, vegetables, whole grains,  and foods rich in calcium. They help to provide you with essential healthy nutrition for the best oral health and optimal overall health.

6. Eat These Foods for Optimal Oral Health

Vitamin C helps strengthen gums, so make sure to eat citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits and tomatoes. Add to this list vegetables rich in vitamin C such as broccoli, spinach, peppers, and potatoes.

Another form of healthy nutrition is phosphorous. Phosphorous is found in a variety of foods, including eggs, fish, nuts, legumes, lean meats, and dairy.

Calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, milk, and cheeses are good for your mouth and body. Others include tofu, fortified soy products, canned salmon and dark leafy green vegetables as well as almonds.

By eating these foods rich in calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C, you will enable you and your family to maintain strong teeth and gums.

7. Avoid Giving Your Baby Pacifiers and Juice Bottles

If you have a baby, refrain from giving your infant or toddler a pacifier too frequently.

When your baby sucks on a bottle filled with juice or formula, it covers their teeth with the liquid that can remain on the teeth and gums. This can contribute to tooth decay.

The Takeaway on Healthy Nutrition to Promote Oral Health

Now you know more about healthy nutrition and oral health. Follow these seven tips to strengthen your teeth and gums. Make sure and stay away from acid-producing foods that can harm your teeth. You’ll be glad you did.

Fermelia Dental provides access to tips and treatments for proper dental health. Explore our website to learn more ways to get a happy and healthy smile.