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Nutrition and Oral Health

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jessica Lau
  • 59th Dental Group

Good nutrition and healthy eating habits are important for the overall health of our bodies and for good oral health as well.


Most people know that brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and daily flossing is the best defense against cavities and gum disease.  But, did you know reducing the amount of sugary and acidic foods we consume each day is also important for maintaining healthy teeth?


Many foods and drinks are labeled as healthy or natural, however, these products can contain the same amount of sugar as soda, sports drinks or candy, and some cases they may even contain more.


According to the American Dental Association, the best beverage to consume instead of sugared juices, sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks is water, especially water that contains a trace amount of fluoride.  Fluoridated water can help strengthen the tooth’s enamel against acidic attacks caused by the bacteria that live on your teeth and cause dental cavities.


Healthy food choices are not only essential in developing a healthy body, but can also help prevent tooth decay.  Dairy products are good sources of protein and calcium, which are important for healthy teeth and bones.  Casein is a protein found in milk that contains phosphorus and calcium which can also help to prevent tooth decay.  Additionally, foods that are rich in the vitamins A, C and D are beneficial to tooth and gum health, while fruits and vegetables with that high-crunch factor, like apples, carrots and celery, help to remove dental plaque from our teeth.


Parents and caregivers are most influential in helping children make the best choice of healthful food and drinks.  Promoting and offering healthy alternatives to those snacks that are high in sugars and carbohydrates helps to create healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime.  Lead by example!  Your body and teeth will thank you for years to come.