Eating for your smile: Nutrition to support oral health | Illuminada Dental, Edmonton

Maintaining an oral hygiene routine, including regular brushing and flossing and going for check-ups with your dentist twice a year, is your best line of defence against cavities and gum disease. However, diet can have an effect on your oral health as well. Following Canada’s food guide is a good first step, and will benefit your overall health as well. Below are some examples of food items that can help support you in the maintenance of good oral health.

Water

Water may not be a food, but it should be your beverage of choice for maintaining dental health. Plain water is sugar free, and will flush away harmful acids and food particles that remain on your teeth after meals. Of course, we all like to indulge in coffee and tea or the occasional glass of wine or soda, but these beverages can lead to staining and decay, and acidic drinks can eat away the tooth’s enamel.  Reach for a glass of water if you’re thirsty, and use water to rinse out your mouth if you can’t brush your teeth after meals or snacks.

Cheese

Cheese is high in protein and calcium, which both serve to strengthen teeth. Also, the saliva generated to chew the cheese helps to keep the mouth moist and dilute acids and sugars. Other dairy products such as milk and yogurt are also great sources of calcium and vitamin D, which are important for bone and tooth health.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Dark leafy greens and bright colored fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamin C. vitamin C is an important nutrient for the maintenance of healthy bones, teeth and tissues. A deficiency of vitamin C can lead to bleeding gums. Its best to consume Vitamin C in the form of fresh fruits and veggies rather than juices, which can contain a lot of sugar and acids, which will eat away your enamel. Opt for kiwi, oranges, kale, red and green peppers and brussels sprouts to get your vitamin C fix.

Nuts and legumes

Almonds are high in phosphorous, vitamin E and calcium. Brazil nuts contain the antioxidant selenium, which contains antioxidant properties. Beans are a great source of protein and magnesium, which can serve to strengthen bones and teeth.

Eating these foods on a regular basis will serve to improve your overall health as well as your oral health.  Of course, proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are important for the maintenance of healthy teeth as well. We recommended that patients come in for regular check-ups and cleanings twice a year, or more often if the patient is particularly prone to tooth decay.  At each visit, you will be given a detailed cleaning and Dr. Jou will do a thorough examination and provide oral x-rays if needed. You will be screened for gingivitis, oral cancer and caries. This is also a great time to check in with us regarding any questions or concerns you have regarding your oral hygiene routine and diet. If you are overdue for a cleaning, contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!