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Friday, August 19, 2011

Dental Health Tied to Good Nutrition

Nutrition can have a big impact on the health of your teeth, especially when it comes to the development of tooth decay. Basically, this means what you eat can lead to cavities. There are several aspects of nutrition and dental health to consider:
·        Foods that are starchy or high in sugar increases the risk of cavities
·        Sticky foods (including raisins and other dried fruits) can increase cavity risk because they adhere to teeth.
·        Dairy products like cheese help neutralize acid in the mouth, acting as a buffer between teeth and tooth decay.
·        Eating sweets during meals may help reduce the risk of cavities because increased saliva production helps neutralize and wash away destructive acids.
·        Another good nutrition dental habit is eating legumes, nuts and grains, which contain antioxidants that increase blood flow, improve immunity and strengthen blood vessels.
Nutrition and dental health go hand in hand, especially when it comes to certain vitamins. Vitamins A, C and D are vital to healthy teeth and gums. Vitamin A is linked to the healthy formation of teeth and skin and contains antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals which cause disease. Many foods are rich in Vitamin A, including liver, spinach and carrots. Vitamin D forms after being exposed to sunshine and promotes calcium absorption, which is essential for strong teeth (and bones). Vitamin C offers a variety of dental and nutrition benefits: It promotes healthy teeth and gums, boosts the immune system and is also an antioxidant. Natural sources of Vitamin C include papayas, strawberries, brussels sprouts and broccoli.
One common nutrition-dental myth concerns the health value of bottled water. While it's probably better to drink bottled water rather than sports drinks, sodas, juices and even "fortified" bottled waters, which all contain cavity-causing sugars, most bottled waters aren't fluoridated. When it comes to drinking water, your teeth are more likely to benefit from filtered tap water because most community tap water systems are fluoridated.
The fact is when you pay attention to good nutrition, good dental health is one of the payoffs.

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