More than likely, you brush your teeth several times a day and make sure you floss. You probably also take the time to see a dentist Tucson AZ regularly for checkups. However, one thing you may not be doing is eating with dental health in mind. Sure, you already know that eating right is good for your body, but the foods you eat affect your dental health as well. Surprisingly, it’s not just sugar that can damage your teeth. Certain foods that are considered healthy can lead to cavities. On the other hand, certain foods can keep you protected from bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. To make sure you start eating for better oral health, here are a few top eating tips from your local dentist. Start following these tips to prevent future dental problems, ensuring that you have a beautiful, healthy smile.
Tip #1 – Start Drinking Tea
One top eating tip from your local dentist Tucson AZ is to start drinking tea. Both green and black teas contain special plant compounds known as polyphenols, which help to keep plaque from sticking to teeth. Polyphenols also help to reduce the risk of gum disease and cavities. Drinking tea also helps to curb bacteria growth in the mouth, which can reduce problems with bad breath. Some teas even have fluoride in them, which helps restore and protect your tooth enamel.
Tip #2 – Save Carbs for Mealtimes
Another of the best eating tips to follow for better dental health is to save your carbs for mealtimes. You may be surprised to find that a dinner roll or a few potato chips can be as damaging as cookies to your gums and teeth. Carbs all break down into sugars, which bacteria in the mouth may turn into plaque. Plaque is the main cause of cavities and gum disease. Most carbs, including crackers and breads, have a sticky, chewy texture, which can lead to them getting caught near the gum line or between your teeth. These are places where bacteria often accumulate. Instead of eating carbs for snacks, it’s better to eat them at mealtimes, since you will produce more saliva when eating a meal. The increase in saliva production helps to wash the particles of food away, keeping those carb rich foods from being as damaging to teeth.
Tip #3 – Get More Vitamin C
To improve oral health, make sure that you get more vitamin C from your diet. Vitamin C is essential for the health of your skin, and it’s just as important for healthy gum tissue as well. Individuals who do not get enough vitamin C each day have a higher risk of gum disease, while those who get over 180mg of vitamin C each day have a lower chance of gum disease. The good news is that it is easy to increase your vitamin C intake by eating the right foods. Choose fruits and veggies high in vitamin C and add more of them to your diet. You could also begin taking a vitamin C supplement if you’re having a tough time getting enough of the vitamin in your diet.
Tip #4 – Use a Straw
If you talk to your dentist Tucson AZ, you’ll probably be encouraged to begin sipping acidic drinks with a straw when you choose to drink them. Many drinks, such as juices, sports drinks and sodas, contain high amounts of acid. Those acids can start wearing away your tooth enamel. While you may think that you’re saving your teeth by drinking sugar-free or diet drinks, the drink could still be acidic and dangerous to tooth enamel. To limit the damage, use a straw. Position it near the back of the mouth so you keep the contact of the drink with your teeth minimal, reducing the negative effects of the drinks on your tooth enamel.
Tip #5 – Increase Calcium Intake
Last, increasing your calcium intake is another eating tip that can help improve overall dental health. People who get at least 800mg of calcium daily are far less likely to end up with severe gum disease according to recent research. Approximately 99% of the calcium found in the body is in the teeth and bones. By eating calcium rich foods, such as yogurt, milk and cheese, you help to strengthen your alveolar bone, a bone in the jaw that works to keep teeth in place. It’s recommended that women under 50 get 1,000mg of calcium daily, and women over 50 should aim for 1,200 mg of calcium daily.