March is National Nutrition Month! Each year, the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sets March aside to teach adults and kids alike about the unlimited benefits to eating right. Although you likely know about foods that are good for certain parts of your body, like leafy greens for your heart and calcium-rich dairy for your bones, you might not realize that a healthy diet benefits your teeth and gums, too!
At Russo Dentistry, we believe that good oral health starts with whole body health. Being mindful about the things you eat and drink is one of the healthiest choices you can make on a day-to-day basis. While many people follow special diets to address different health concerns, like cholesterol or blood sugar, the good news is that a healthy diet for your smile is pretty simple. Sticking to the five major food groups – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat or fat-free dairy – is a great place to start.
If you want to take your healthy smile to the next level, here are some good next steps:
- Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, especially crunchy ones like carrots and apples. Since they’re high in water and have an abrasive quality, they help to keep your teeth clean between brushings. Many fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, which is good for your gums, and vitamin A, which helps to build enamel. Leafy greens are full of vitamin K, an important mineral for protecting your teeth and bones. They’ll also help to stimulate saliva production, protecting your teeth from decay and keeping the pH levels inside your mouth balanced.
- Eat more lean protein and low-fat dairy. Much like your bones, your teeth need calcium and phosphorous to stay their healthiest. Low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, like cheese and yogurt, are a tasty way to make sure you’re getting the right amount of calcium in your diet. Be sure to choose plain yogurt, as sweetened yogurts may harm your teeth. Foods that are high in protein, including lean meats, are good sources of phosphorous.
- Drink plenty of water. There’s not much water can’t do for your whole body health! Choosing water with added fluoride goes above and beyond to keep your teeth healthy and prevent bacteria from growing.
As a modern dental practice, the team at Russo Dentistry is passionate about making sure our patients in the Raleigh area have the tools and resources they need to live their healthiest lives. Dr. Russo and his team are here to answer any questions you might have about eating for good oral health. It’s time to get on the road to a healthier smile – call us today to schedule your next appointment.