October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Taking care of your mouth is an important part of your health. That’s why we contacted experts in the field and put together the most important tips straight from the source. Read on to learn how to keep your mouth healthy and a stunning smile.
Protect Your Teeth Protect your body
Sean Boynes, DDS, vice president of health improvement for the DentaQuest Partnership to Promote Oral Health in Boston, spoke to Medical Daily about the importance of oral health.
“Protecting and maintaining your oral health should always be a priority. Everyone knows how to brush and floss regularly, and while these are incredibly important habits for a healthy mouth, they can affect more than just your teeth. “
Jared Cox, DDS, of Today’s Family Dentistry in Searcy, Ark., Explained some of the other effects of dental hygiene.
“Good oral and dental care leads to overall good health. Dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease can affect your ability to eat and speak properly, and even cause pain and bad breath. With routine visits to the dentist and good oral hygiene, your teeth should do last a lifetime as they were designed to do. “
Watch what you eat
What have you eaten today? Your eating habits might just damage your teeth. Steven Barefoot, DDS at DentaQuest, said that wrong foods can harm your oral health.
“Stay away from overly processed and sugary foods and make sure you are getting enough calcium. When you consume foods and beverages that are high in sugar and sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, the bacteria on the teeth and gums in your mouth are “fed”. Constant exposure increases the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease. … Avoid treats like chewing gum, candies and suction cups that stay in your mouth for a long time. Chewy candies and raisins should also be limited as these soft candies stick to and between your teeth and produce tooth-damaging acid. “
Unfortunately, there’s bad news about your morning cup of joe too. Marianna Weiner, DDS, a cosmetic dentist at the Envy Smile Dental Spa in New York City, gave advice on which drinks to avoid and how to limit their effects.
“Lemonades and other dark colored drinks such as coffee and tea should be avoided whenever possible. It is understandable that you can’t skip your coffee break at work, but please think of me and use a straw. You wouldn’t pour it on a white shirt so try not to pour it over your beautiful white teeth. “
Strengthen your teeth
While the wrong foods can damage your teeth, eating the right ones can help keep them safe. The process starts with what you should drink. Dr. Barefoot recommended that you “drink plenty of water, especially fluoridated water. Bottled water usually doesn’t contain fluoride, so this is not the best option. Foods that contain fluoride are good for you. These include fish, tea, grape juice, and green leafy vegetables. “
There are many more options that can make your smile stronger. Dr. Cox commented, “There are many delicious foods that people don’t even know are good for their teeth, like nuts and seeds, that make a great, mouth-friendly snack. Foods high in calcium and phosphorus like almonds, peanuts, and cashews can protect teeth by replenishing these minerals. “
Calcium is an important part of a healthy diet. You probably already know it’s good for your bones, but it plays the same role in strengthening your teeth.
Dr. Weiner said, “Dairy products like cheese and milk are great sources of calcium and help keep our teeth firm. Greens and foods high in fiber are also great additions to your diet. “
If you have a metaphorical sweet tooth, don’t worry. You can still get pampered while protecting your teeth. The dentists all made the same recommendation: look for xylitol, a healthier alternative sweetener.
Dr. Barefoot said xylitolite is often found in fruits and “has been shown to help fight cavities. Chewing xylitol gum helps reduce bacteria in the mouth. “
“Think about using products that contain xylitol versus sugar. Xylitol is a sweetener that cannot be metabolized by bacteria that form cavities. There are several types of candy, gums, and mints that you can get with xylitol that taste good and are better. Personally, I like Dr. John’s healthy candy and use them all the time, ”said Dr. Cox.
The take away
It is important to take care of your mouth. Minimize harmful foods, add some healthy choices, and you can keep your teeth in even better shape than normal. Ask your dentist for more recommendations and find out more about dental health tips soon.