You have heard it a million times...brush, floss, visit the dentist, repeat. But there's more to having a healthy mouth than that. A healthy diet is also a crucial component for a better smile.
How does a poor diet affect my teeth?
While completely preventable, tooth decay is the single most chronic childhood disease. Sugars of any kind - in addition to non-nutritious snacks - should be avoided in order to promote healthy teeth in children.
For adults, avoiding sugar is also important, of course, but it's also essential to have a diet that is rich in nutrients. Poor diets that contain processed food make it more difficult for your mouth to resist infection, which in turn leads to gum disease, which may cause tooth loss if gone untreated.
In what other ways can my diet affect my mouth?
As an airway-centric dentist, Dr. Patti Swaintek-Lamb of Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville is an advocate for a healthy diet because she understands that how we drink, eat, and sleep can stunt our promote growth and development. Improper facial development means crowded teeth, a retruded chin, mouth breathing, allergies and a host of other factors that affect the quality of our lives. This may mean poor sleep, jaw pain, and headaches.
In short, the foods you eat play a HUGE ROLE in the health of your teeth (not to mention your whole body)! And since March is National Nutrition Month, it's a great time to start making healthier choices about our diet.
What Should I Be Eating?
Cutting out all forms of sugary drinks like soda and juice is a great place to start. Bread, dried fruits, and sticky sour candies are also things we need to avoid eating too often. According to the ADA, these are the Top Seven Best Foods for your teeth:
- Carrots, celery, and leafy greens
- Black and green teas
- Lean proteins
- Yogurt and cheeses *
*Just a note about the yogurt and cheese - dairy products encourage your body to produce more saliva, protecting your teeth, and is high in calcium and protein, strengthening your teeth. But for some people, dairy products can cause imflammation in the body making it hard to breathe through your nose properly.
If you are concerned about your sleep, your misaligned teeth, your jaw pain or you just want to talk about the connection between your diet and your teeth & airway, please contact us. Dr. Patti is passionate about helping patients achieve better health and a better smile! Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville serves patients from Bernardsville, Morristown, Basking Ridge, Mendham, Chester, Far Hills and nearby areas in New Jersey.