Posted August 5, 2014
We really are what we eat. Did you know that what you eat can affect the healthiness of your teeth? The American Dental Association reports that people can prevent tooth decay and gum disease by choosing nutritious foods and developing healthy eating habits.
Balanced food choices
Many people choose with their eyes the foods they consume, but these selections often are not best for good dental and overall health. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it’s important for people to balance their food intake. Here are some recommendations:
- Protein – Select lean meats and fish and mix choices with other proteins, including beans, peas, eggs and legumes; consume at least 8 ounces of seafood weekly
- Dairy – Choose milk and cheese products that are low-fat or fat-free
- Grains – At least 50 percent of the foods consumed should be made from whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice or whole wheat
- Fruits and vegetables – Choose fresh options whenever possible, including dark, leafy greens and those fortified with calcium; at lunch and dinner, fruits and vegetables should cover at least half of your plate
Limit foods made with simple carbohydrates and added sugar, or beverages with sugars and acids. These choices easily stick to teeth and gums, providing a rich feast for oral bacteria to create decay.
If you need a snack to get through to the next meal, avoid chips and sweets that promote tooth decay. Instead, choose healthy and nutritious options, such as cheese, yogurt, veggies, almonds, fruits, water or low-sugar beverages.