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At Smiley Dental Webb Chapel in Dallas, Texas, we know how important the food you consume is to your oral health. In fact, did you know there are things that can help your smile, and things that can harm them? Today, Dr. Raquel Wright and Dr. Navaneetha Natchimuthu would like to share some nutrition essentials with you!

First, let’s look at the tooth-healthy foods you should focus on if you want to promote healthy teeth and gums: your best sources for essential nutrition includes protein, dairy products, vegetables, and fruits.

Protein: These foods contain phosphorus which protects and rebuilds tooth enamel. You can include phosphorous in your diet when you eat poultry, meat, fish, and eggs.

Dairy: These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals which benefit healthy teeth and gums. Dairy also contains calcium, a mineral that strengthens your pearly whites. You can find calcium in milk, cheese, and plain yogurt.

Vegetables and Fruits: These foods provide water and fiber in addition to healthy vitamins and nutrition. They help promote healthy saliva production which cleans your teeth and gums by washing plaque and bacteria from your smile.

Of course, just as food can benefit your smile, it can also harm your oral health by promoting tooth decay and gum disease. These include such items as sugary drinks, acidic foods, and foods with empty calories. Let’s take a look!

Sugary drinks: With summer here, we are hopefully staying hydrated to help our bodies fight the heat and our mouths maintain healthy levels of saliva production to avoid a condition known as dry mouth. But when you drink liquids loaded with sugar, you re essentially bathing them in sugar which coats your teeth and inviting decay. Instead of relying on sweetened coffee, tea, lemonade, juices, or soda, limit them as much as possible and stick to water. Your teeth and gums will thank you!

Acidic foods: The acid in these foods attacks your teeth and wear down your tooth enamel. If you do eat these foods, a healthy choice is consuming them with a meal so that the foods help neutralize the acids in acidic foods. This means eating these with one of the other food choices listed above. Acidic foods to watch out for include citrus–limes, oranges, lemons, and tomatoes.

Empty-calorie foods: Empty calories foods include chips, cakes, candy, muffins, and cookies. As you can see these are also high in sugar while providing you with very little to no nutrition. Again, if you want to eat them, consume them along with healthy foods rather than snacking on them throughout the day. Otherwise, the bacteria in your mouth will feed off of the sugar and starches, releasing acids that attack your smile.

Maintaining a smile-friendly diet will benefit your oral health and your overall health. Healthy food habits, along with daily brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings and exams will help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health in Dallas, Texas, please call Smiley Dental Webb Chapel today at 214.635.2810. We look forward to helping you with all of your smile needs!