The holidays are a wonderful chance to spend a bit more time with your favorite people and your favorite dishes. Who isn’t tempted to grab a second piece of Grandma’s favorite pecan pie while reminiscing with cousins about all your best childhood memories? But if you want to start this next year feeling and looking your best, you do need to make some smart choices for both your body’s health and your smile. Preventive dental care should include professional checkups and cleanings, sure, but it also means maintaining a balanced diet.
What You Eat Affects Your Oral Health
Most people know that their bodies need nutritious meals in order to function properly, but few take time to consider that what they put on their plates affects their smiles’ health as well. If you want to maintain strong teeth and healthy gums, you need to fill up on nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, proteins and healthy fats, like nuts or avocado.
That’s not to say every serving at every meal needs to be dentist-approved, but eating a well-balanced diet can certainly help prevent dental and other health problems.
- When you do want to indulge in a sweet treat, make it reasonably sized and be sure to brush your teeth and floss afterwards. This can help remove bacteria and the sugar that is prone to remain on teeth, eventually leading to plaque buildup and subsequently cavities and/or gum disease.
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can also help protect your oral health. Not only will it keep you hydrated, but it also helps you produce saliva, which is a natural plaque-fighter. Drinking water after other beverages and following meals can also help rinse sugars and other food particles from your mouth between brushings.