Enjoy the Taste, and Benefits, of Eating Right

healthy eating for healthy smilesEvery March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics hosts National Nutrition Month® to promote nutrition information and education to improve people’s health and lives. This year, the Month’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” which exemplifies an important aspect of your dietary concerns—your mouth. Your taste buds, tongue, teeth, and gums react to everything you eat, for better or worse, and your diet can affect the state of your oral health as much as it does your physical wellbeing. With the right combination of a good hygiene, professional dental care, and a well-balanced diet, your meals might actually help keep your mouth healthy, rather than increasing your risk of problems.

Foods that Help FIGHT Tooth Decay

While some substances, like sugar, are notorious for increasing your risk of cavities and other issues, some minerals and nutrients are essential to your teeth’s integrity. The enamel that surrounds and protects them requires a steady supply of calcium and phosphate to withstand acid attacks from your meals. Vitamin D allows your body to absorb and use calcium, and can also help combat harmful bacteria to reduce your risk of developing dental infections. In moderation with other nutrients, you can still safely consume sugar and other treats without exposing your teeth to dangerous levels of acid erosion.

Tasty Snack Alternatives for Kids

  • Milk and cheese—rich in calcium, phosphate, and vitamin D, dairy products are highly-beneficial to maintaining resilient tooth enamel and a jawbone strong enough to support your teeth.
  • Lunch meat—the bread in a sandwich contains starch that can facilitate acid erosion, but lunchmeat, like chicken, beef, and turkey, contains ample supplies of calcium and other essential minerals. Sandwiching lunch meat and cheese between crackers, instead of bread, can prove a tasty alternative without the risk of bread sticking to your teeth.
  • Apples—the slightly-abrasive and fibrous texture of apples makes them a natural tooth cleaner, and their juiciness helps facilitate a healthy flow of bacteria-neutralizing saliva. Peeling the apple can help you avoid chunks of the skin being lodged between your teeth.

About Your Livonia Family Dentist:

As an experienced family dentist, Dr. James Stewart has helped many patients improve their dental health by advising them on proper nutrition. To learn how you can modify your diet to provide the maximum benefit to your smile, schedule a consultation as soon as possible.

James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.