Craig R. Smith, DDS

Licensed General Dentist
2803 Bogus Basin Rd, Boise, Idaho 83702

Call: 208-343-1393

Hours: Mon-Thurs 7:30-4:00

Nutrition & Oral Health

 

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We at A Reason to Smile  know that a healthy, balanced diet is important to living a healthy life.  But did you know that eating patterns and food choices play a big part in preventing tooth decay and gum disease? Your mouth, teeth, and gums are more than tools for eating.  The mouth is the first contact point where your body receives nutrition. What you put in your mouth not only affects your general health but it affects your teeth and gums. 

 Foods That May Harm Dental Health

Sugary candies and sweets often leave a sticky residue in your mouth. If you eat sweets, be sure to rinse your mouth out when the treat is gone. Some candies, like lollipops, caramel, jelly beans, and hard candies adhere to the teeth, making it more difficult for saliva to wash away those sugars. When sugars remain on the teeth bacteria thrive.  These bacteria then create acids which are harmful to your teeth. If you choose to eat sugary snacks its best to eat them as a dessert after a main meal, rather then “grazing on skittles or M &M’s all day long! 

When it comes to starchy, refined carbohydrates, (foods like chips, bread’s and pastas), most of these foods linger in your mouth break down into sugars that the bacteria feed on. This then leads to acid production which causes tooth decay.  

Drinks likes soda’s, juices and sports drinks contain a high amounts of sugars. Sodas contain phosphorous and carbonation which wears away the enamel on your teeth. Moderation is best!

Foods That Benefit Dental health 

Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, leafy greens and almonds, are foods that can benefit your teeth thanks to their high amounts of calcium and other nutrients they provide. Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs are the best sources of phosphorus. Both of these minerals play a critical role in dental health, by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel.

Fruits and vegetables are good choices for a healthy smile since they are high in water and fiber, which balance the sugars they contain and help to clean the teeth. These foods also help stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids and food particles away from teeth and helps neutralize acid, protecting teeth from decay. Many contain vitamin C (important for healthy gums and quick healing of wounds) and vitamin A (another key nutrient in building tooth enamel).

Water, particularly fluoridated water, is the most tooth-friendly drink.

Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Cavities

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes to remove sugars and food particles from your teeth. 
  • Floss daily
  • Limit between-meal snacking.
  • Keep added sugar in your diet to a minimum by making wise food and beverage choices.
  • Include dairy, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and water in your diet—they all play a role in your dental health.

The USDA recommends 

  • Fruits and vegetables- Combined, these should cover half your plate at meals.
  • Grains- At least half of the grains you eat should be whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
  • Dairy– Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods most often.
  • Protein– Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Vary your protein choices to also include eggs, beans, peas and legumes. Seafood is also a great source of lean protein.

For more information on eating right visit www.eatright.org 

 

 

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