Dental care involves more than just brushing your teeth. You can brush your teeth twice daily, and floss too, but still end up with cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues. Everything that goes into your mouth can affect your oral health, including what you eat and drink. See below for some helpful dental care tips that go beyond the toothbrush.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet does more than give you a svelte figure. Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals helps your tooth enamel and overall oral health as well. Eat a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, and protein.
- Vegetables. Stick with veggies such as crisp greens including romaine lettuce, broccoli and spinach, as well as peppers, zucchini, carrots and asparagus are all great. Try to limit veggies that are higher in carbs/sugar such as corn and white potatoes.
- Fruits. Fresh fruit is always better than canned, which can contain a lot of high fructose corn syrup. Fruits such as apples, grapes, and berries all contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- Grains. Try to incorporate whole grains into your diet such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole grain cereals or oatmeal. White flour items such as white bread and white rice are stripped down grains, and don't give you as much of the fiber as whole grains do.
- Protein. Protein can come from meat and seafood, or you can get your protein from beans, eggs and nuts as well. Stick with lean protein meats and vary the other proteins as well in your diet.
Foods such as candy and high sugary items should be limited to avoid cavities. If candy cannot be avoided, be sure to brush your teeth afterwards to get the sugar off of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth out with water after eating candy will also help (if you don't have a toothbrush on hand).
Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking at least 8 - 10 glasses of water per day is good for your body, but is also good for your oral health as well. Water that container fluoride can help protect and harden your tooth's enamel. Avoid drinking high sugary drinks such as soda and juice that can eat away at the enamel. Also avoid drinks such as coffee and tea, which can stain your teeth, as well as begin to breakdown the enamel on your teeth, which can eventually lead to cavities.
Avoid Hard Items
Your teeth are extremely hard, but they can break or chip if you aren't careful. Avoid eating hard items such as hard candy or ice cubes. Also be sure to avoid chewing on items that are hard such as pen caps, pencils or even your fingernails. Never use your teeth to open objects such as opening a package/wrapper or a soda bottle. All of these things can damage your teeth, breaking or chipping them, which can be painful and costly to have your teeth repaired.
Stop Tobacco Use
Tobacco can stain your teeth, break down your enamel and cause decay or gum disease. Not to mention that tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth, jaw or lungs. If you use tobacco, try your best to cease using it for your oral health and your overall health as well.
Your oral health is affected not only by brushing your teeth properly, but by what you put into your mouth and body as well. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, drink plenty of water, never chew on anything that is not a food item, and stop tobacco use. Also be sure to see your dentist for regular checkups, exams and cleanings. Make your appointment today at Moana Dental Care.