5 Healthy Eating Habits for Improved Dental Wellness

Oral hygiene plays a big role in supporting your dental health, but do you know how your eating habits affect your teeth? What you eat (and what you don’t eat) helps to improve your dental wellness. 

Dr. David Blaustein at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics in New York City created this guide to highlight five healthy eating habits you can implement today for a healthier smile.

1. Choose teeth-friendly beverages

What you drink is just as important as what you eat. That’s true from both a nutritional standpoint and a dental wellness point of view. Water is hands down the best beverage for your overall physical well-being.

Water supports your dental health by preventing dry mouth and freshening your breath. It also helps keep your mouth clean, joining with saliva to wash away bacteria, food debris, and more. If the water is fluoridated, it further supports dental wellness by helping to prevent cavities.

Milk is another good option as it fortifies both your jawbones and your teeth. If possible, avoid or limit consumption of sugary drinks, including soda, sports drinks (which are high in sugar), and sweetened coffee beverages.

If you partake of a sweet drink, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward and brush your teeth as soon as possible to remove sugar residue from your teeth.

2. Stick with a balanced diet 

A well-balanced diet should contain elements from each of the food groups. This includes:

Calcium-rich foods, including cheese, milk, and plain yogurt, are important for your dental health because calcium helps to strengthen your enamel. If you don’t (or can’t) eat dairy, you can find calcium in calcium-fortified tofu, dark leafy greens, canned salmon (with bones), and almonds.

Phosphorus is another nutrient that’s important for your teeth. You can find phosphorus in protein-rich foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, and eggs. 

Fruit and vegetables are important because they:

Saliva production is important because saliva washes away decay-causing acids, which helps protect teeth from decay.

3. Avoid excess sugar

In addition to focusing on what nutrients you should include in your diet, it’s important to recognize which foods you should limit. 

Food that contains a lot of sugar can increase your risk of tooth decay. That’s because the bacteria that cause decay feed off sugar. When they consume sugar, they secrete enamel-damaging acid.

Always rinse your mouth with water after eating sugary foods. If you can’t easily brush your teeth, take a sip of water and chew a piece of sugar-free gum

4. Limit grazing throughout the day 

Continually snacking throughout the day can increase your risk of cavities due to prolonged exposure to food debris on your teeth. 

To improve your dental wellness, limit the number of snacks you eat and choose something healthy (like a piece of fruit or cheese) rather than processed foods or desserts. 

5. Include plenty of vitamin C-rich foods

Vitamin C is known as the immune-boosting vitamin, but it also supports healthy gums and promotes wound healing. You can find vitamin C in oranges, spinach, and strawberries.

In addition to these eating habits, you can continue to support your dental wellness with routine dental exams and cleanings. If you need to schedule an appointment, call our Manhattan office at 917-633-7312 or book your visit online.

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