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Nutrition and Good Oral Health

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Updated: March 27, 2007

Choosing the right foods in your diet is an important aspect in having healthy teeth and good oral hygiene. Establishing good nutritional habits in kids and teenagers can be especially beneficial for good eating patterns and food choices throughout their lives.

How Nutrition affects oral health

The foods that you eat come in contact with the germs and bacteria that live in the mouth. If you don’t brush, plaque will accumulate on the teeth. Plague thrives on the starches and sugars that are found in a great deal of foods. When plaque combines with the sugars and starches, an acid is produced that attacks enamel on the teeth, and eventually causes decay. According to the American Dental Association, the acid attacks the teeth for 20 minutes or more.

Choosing a Healthy Diet

Choosing a healthy diet may sound easy, however, fruits, milk, cereals, bread and some vegetables contain sugars and / or starches. Carbonated sodas, sweet fruit drinks and sugary snack foods should be limited.

You don’t have to avoid these foods, just keep in mind that you should eat a balanced diet, brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.

Healthy Tips

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods from the five major food groups
  • Cut down on snacking in between meals
  • Limit snacks and drinks that are high in sugar
  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss Daily
  • Visit your dentist for regular check ups
  • Summary

    While eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are good ways to prevent cavities, a good dental regime is essential in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing thoroughly and your dentist can detect any signs of early decay. If you have a severe sweet tooth like me, try starting out by replacing one snack a day with healthy choices.

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    5. Healthy Teeth and Nutrition - Nutrition and Healthy Teeth

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