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Why Diet Matters for Oral Health

by DailyHealthPost Editorial

We talk about food for heart health and nutrition for brain health… but what about your mouth? It turns out that the food that you eat plays a significant role in your oral health. Let’s take a look at why your diet matters to your teeth.

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The Relationship Between Oral Health and Diet

Nutrition and oral health have a two-way relationship. The food that you eat dictates what kind of nutrients your teeth have to build, grow, and maintain themselves with, which affects your oral health on a very basic level. At the same time, the condition of your oral health determines what kind of foods you can eat based on the strength of your teeth and the health of your gums. This close relationship means that it is extremely important to have both good oral health and good nutrition, as the two most definitely depend upon each other.

Good Oral Health Through Proper Diet

The basics of nutrition for oral health are simple: stick to healthy options like fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein, with moderate amounts of healthy fats. In general, any diet that’s good for the rest of your body is good for your teeth! Beyond that, there are a few important tips and tricks for improving your diet with your teeth specifically in mind.

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  • Avoid sticky foods that get caught in teeth. Dried fruit, oatmeal, and granola are all healthy options that can still stick around in your mouth and cause problems.
  • If you have a sugary treat, eat it with a meal. This is because your body is already producing more saliva, which can help wash away the sugar more effectively than if you have it by itself as a snack.
  • Snack on cheese. Oddly enough, aged cheeses cause your mouth to produce saliva that helps to keep your teeth clean and prevent decay.

For more information on oral health and nutrition, check out this infographic:

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[divider]Sources:

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  • http://visual.ly/nutrition-oral-health-root-it-all
  • http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8384
  • http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/nutrition-childs-teeth
  • http://www.mouthhealthy.org/nutrition.aspx
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