Growing up, you probably remember hearing that too much sugar was bad for your teeth, right? It’s true. In fact, too much sugar, refined wheat, saturated fat or salt in your diet can lead to various dental problems, including tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. Poor nutrition has also been linked to bigger health concerns like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Maintain oral health with a healthy diet and regular dental care
For good oral health, proper nutrition and dental care go hand in hand. Your mouth is full of bacteria—both good and bad. When too many bad bacteria build up because of poor nutrition or oral hygiene habits, you may begin to notice redness, swelling or bleeding around the gum line. These are warning signs of a developing infection. Infections that begin in the mouth area can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body.
The next time you’re feeling hungry, try reaching for a nutritious snack like fiber-rich fruits or vegetables, nuts, cheese, yogurt or a sugarless chewing gum instead. These foods are not only more filling than processed snack foods, but they can also promote good oral health.
Nutrients and important minerals vital to good oral health
The good news is you don’t have to do anything extraordinary to maintain healthy teeth and gums. First, eat a healthy diet of whole foods, leafy greens and lean protein. Second, visit Alpine Dental Health for regular dental cleanings and checkups. And third, avoid processed foods, especially those high in simple sugars that can cause plaque buildup. Here are a few essential nutrients and minerals that will help you get the proper nutrition you need to promote good oral health:
- Protein – fortifies tooth enamel and builds the immune system
- Calcium – strengthens tooth structure
- Folate – builds the immune system and guards against periodontal disease
- Vitamin D – builds the immune system and may enhance enamel remineralization
Additional resources and tips for good oral health
Here are additional resources and tips to help you maintain good oral health and overall wellness:
- Eat Right Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Healthy Nutrition for Healthy Teeth
- Mouth Healthy by the American Dental Association
- Colorado Dental Association
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Oral Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Oral Health for Older Americans
If you or a loved one is experiencing any oral discomfort that includes redness, swelling or inflammation, it may be time to visit the compassionate team at Alpine Dental Health for a hygiene visit and to learn more about proper nutrition for oral health. We have four conveniently located offices along Colorado’s Front Range, in Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins. Find one near you to get started.
West Fort Collins Office – 1015 S. Taft Hill Rd Taft Hill Office – Unit K
Dr. Seth Cowden