Proper nutrition can benefit you in a number of ways: increased energy, improved immunity, glowing skin, mental clarity, and a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. The team at Jim Erpenbach DDS in Knoxville TN wonders: do you ever think about how your diet influences your oral health?
Your diet can impact your risk of cavities, enamel health, and gum condition. Healthy foods provide an environment that can prevent inflammation and infection. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts are the optimal choices for oral health. Calcium-fortified beverages, milk, and other dairy products provide vitamins, minerals, and calcium that aids in keeping teeth, bones, and gums healthy. Eating crispy fruits and vegetables, such as apples and celery, will help clean your teeth and gums.
A healthy diet contains all the essential vitamins and minerals, and the most important mineral for teeth is fluoride – especially for babies. Between the ages of 6 months and 16 years old, both the primary and the permanent teeth come in, therefore adequate fluoride is critical.
Don’t forget that too much fluoride is dangerous. We can guide you on the specific dosage of fluoride for your child, taking into account whether your municipal water is fluoridated.
Even though adult teeth have already formed, fluoride assists in remineralizing weakened enamel to a degree. This effective mineral is applied to teeth during extensive dental cleanings at Jim Erpenbach DDS and daily with fluoride toothpaste.
Bacteria that causes enamel-destroying plaque love a steady diet of sugar—from soda, candy, and even fruit juices. When enamel wears away, the teeth become vulnerable to decay, cracks, and discoloration.
Sugary foods that are especially dangerous are those that get trapped in the spaces between teeth and the tiny pits and cracks in the molars. Candies that are chewy or hard can lodge in these spaces and allow for the harmful sugar to have direct contact with enamel until brushing occurs. Sticky candy can also damage braces and retainers. More than one retainer has fallen prey to sticky caramel or hard taffy.
Be sure to brush after each meal and before bed. Additionally, remember to floss or use a water irrigating method to dislodge food particles trapped in spaces. By eating well, brushing properly, flossing regularly, and avoiding foods that stick to your teeth, you can have a beautiful smile for life. (And, hopefully, the physical stamina to complement that pleasing smile and the energy to enjoy both.)
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