Healthy Food Choices
The best foods and beverages for your dental health are very much the same foods encouraged for an overall healthy body.
While you can still enjoy the occasional treat, following these simple tips is good for your health.
- Eat a balanced diet including calcium rich foods, dairy, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, crunchy fruits and vegetables.
- Limit sugar. Bacteria feed on sugars in your mouth. Watch for hidden sugars in foods, be aware of the amount of sugar you add to foods and drinks, and limit candies/sweets to mealtimes (when the saliva levels are high).
- Avoid sticky foods. While you may know caramels and licorice are not the best choices for your teeth, other healthier foods, such as granola bars, dried fruit or fruit leather can also stick to your teeth.
- Choose more natural foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins are better options than pre-packaged, processed alternatives.
- Read the labels. Know what's in your food. Look for foods with a high fibre and protein content and less sugar and salt.
- Think about what you drink. Choose water more often, especially between meals. Be aware that even healthier options, such as fruit juice and milk, contain sugar. Every teaspoon of sugar added to coffee or tea also adds up.
- Limit snacking. Grazing throughout the day, especially on sugary treats and drinks, leaves your mouth constantly bathed in sugar - a perfect environment for bacteria. If you do need a snack choose tooth friendly foods more often such as cheese, nuts, a whole piece of fruit, or raw vegetables.
What else you can do
- Brush and floss at least twice a day to remove food and plaque from the mouth.
- Rinse with water after eating. This helps to clear any leftover food from the mouth.
- If you notice any sensitivity to hot or cold foods, talk to your dentist.
To learn more: Read "Eat Your Way to a Healthy Smile" in the Spring/Summer issue of Your Dental Health Magazine.