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Diet and Dental Health

Healthy Gums Lead to a Happy Smile

Your body is a complex machine. The foods you choose and how often you eat them can affect your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, too. If you consume too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or non-nutritious snacks, you could be at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay happens when plaque comes into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth.

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To control the amount of sugar you eat, read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on foods and beverages and choose options that are lowest in sugar. Common sources of sugar include:

  • Soft drinks;
  • Candy;
  • Cookies; and
  • Pastries.

If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infection. This may contribute to gum disease. Severe gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. For healthy living and for healthy teeth and gums, think before you eat and drink. It’s not only what you eat but when you eat that can affect your dental health.

For good dental health, keep these tips in mind when choosing your meals and snacks:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
    • Whole grains;
    • Fruits;
    • Vegetables;
    • Lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes; and
    • Low-fat and fat-free dairy foods.

For good dental health, always remember to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly.

If you are interested in reading more about how to diet and dental health click here: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/diet-and-dental-health

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