Nutrition and oral health
A poor diet can make it harder for the body to fight off infections, and it will be therefore easier to develop gingivitis or gum disease. In addition, foods that contain a lot of sugar can lead to tooth decay. Even healthy foods, such as fruits and dairy products, contain naturally occurring sugars. While these foods are part of a healthy diet, it’s important to brush and floss after eating them. It’s especially important to brush or at least rinse your mouth after eating dried fruit. Dried fruit is high in sugar and tends to stick to the teeth.
Foods to make of daily part your diet should include fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products, as well as whole grains (such as whole wheat bread and brown rice). Nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and vitamin D will help to keep your teeth strong. For those who are lactose intolerant or are on a vegan diet, there are many sources of calcium aside from milk products. Dark leafy greens, fish, and almonds all contain calcium. Examples of magnesium rich foods include spinach, beans, pumpkin seeds and yogurt. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, and is necessary for strong teeth and bones. Vitamin D rich foods include eggs, cheese, and fish. Some milk and orange juices are fortified with vitamin D.
Vitamin C is also an important nutrient for healthy gums. If you are lacking in vitamin C, you may begin to develope bleeding gums. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits are high in vitamin C. Kiwis, peppers, leafy greens and carrots also contain vitamin C.
There are many supplements available on the market, however, if at all possible it’s always best to try and get your nutrients from food. Filling your diet with fresh, healhty food will help support good oral health, as well as help you maintain overall health.