We all want to look good. Watching your waistline means watching what you eat. But your health is also tied to what you consume, of course, and the first step in the digestion process is to chew and swallow food. So, what you eat affects your oral health as well as your overall health.
In fact, the first sign of physical illness often shows up in your mouth.
Here are some of the things you need to know about your diet and the health of your teeth and gums.
Your Las Vegas dentist says, “You really are what you eat”
When you go to the dentist in Las Vegas, you would expect to have a conversation about all those giant sugary drinks you’ve been eating. But don’t be surprised when your Las Vegas dentist hands you a brochure on the connection between the vegetables you’re eating and how healthy your gums are.
Increasingly dentists are aware of the overall health of a patient as and the impact on oral health. That’s why we pay attention when the USDA says a diet in fruits; grains, vegetables, and protein are optimal for your health. They’re pretty specific about the form these foods should take and the amount you should consume:
- At mealtime, half your plate should be covered with fruits and vegetables.
- Half the grains you eat should be “brown,” or whole grains like whole wheat bread or oatmeal.
- Always pick low-fat dairy products.
- When eating protein go for the leanest meats including fish or skinless chicken.
- Substitute meat for beans, peas, and legumes.
Avoid high-calorie foods like potato chips, candy, or cookies. Bacteria feed on these, which multiply in your mouth and lead to tooth decay. Sugary drinks are the absolute worst. Think of bathing your teeth in constant a sugar bath, and you’ll start to get a sense of why your Las Vegas dentist cringes when you tell him how many sodas you drink a day.
The ADA says that adults should get two to three hours of moderate physical activity each week to stay healthy. So the next time you need that Frappuccino, we suggest walking there – and then brushing your teeth!
Foods That Make Your Teeth Happy
The link between dental health and physical health is very plain, so it won’t surprise you to learn that certain foods keep your teeth and gums healthier in the long term. These foods have plenty of calcium, phosphorous, vitamin C, and other nutrients to keep your teeth strong:
- Plain (non-sugar) yogurt
- Leafy green vegetables
But what is the number one food you can consume to make your teeth stronger? The answer is water, actually, and especially if it’s fluoridated water.
Four Ways to Stop Cavities
There are four key ways to improve your health and stop cavities in their tracks:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Floss once a day.
- Don’t snack between meals.
- Avoid sugars.
- Make good meal choices and drink plenty of water.
- Visit your dentist every six months.
Contact Smiles by Dr. Hadley to schedule your next check-up today!