HEALTHY MOUTH TIPS
What to Eat to Keep Your Mouth Healthy
If you are a sucker for fried, fatty, salty, and sweet foods, you are not alone. These types of foods cause some serious temptations, especially when at a special event or on the go. While these foods taste good as you consume them, did you know that they can damage your teeth? The damage continues to occur even AFTER the food has been consumed too!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services have created dietary guidelines that are recommended for all Americans to follow. Here are what the guidelines say:
- Prepare foods with lower amounts of sodium and choose low sodium options
- Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits
- Eat fish, beans, seeds, and nuts to meet protein requirements
- Consume orange and dark green vegetables
- Eat whole grains daily such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat breads
- Maintain a healthy weight and stay active
- Eat a diet that s rich in vegetables, grains, and fruits
- Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation
- Choose drinks and foods without lots of sugar
The old Food Pyramid has been phased out and has been replaced with MyPyramid, which was created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The new MyPyramid is customizable to each individual and can help you meet your nutritional needs in a healthy manner while developing healthier eating habits.
While the tool is customized to you as an individual, it is important to continue to consume the following based on recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
- 3 cups of calcium-rich products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
- 2.5 cups of vegetables daily
- Proteins such as seeds, meats, eggs, and beans
- A good amount of whole grains
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Preventing Tooth Decay By Watching What You Eat
Did you know that what you eat, when you eat, and how long you wait to brush in between can all lead to tooth decay? Below, Dr. Steve S. Kim will provide you with some tips to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth as healthy as possible.
Do not snack between meals unless you absolutely must!
Try not to snack at all in between your meals unless you absolutely must. Snacking in between meals can cause plaque and bacteria to remain on your teeth, which leads to decay. Should you need to snack, below, you will find some of the best, moderate, and worst snack options.
BEST Snack Options
MEDIOCRE Snack Options
WORST Snack Options
- Dried fruits
- Fruit snacks
- French fries
- Potato chips
Limit how many soft drink and sugary drinks you consume.
Sipping sugary and fruit drinks can leave a film of acid on your teeth, which will eat away at the enamel on your teeth and cause tooth decay. You should avoid these drinks when possible, but should you want one, enjoy it with your meal and not before or after.
Drinks to AVOID:
- Tea with sugar
- Fruit juice
Drinks to ENJOY:
- Unsweetened tea
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Avoid sucking on candy and mints.
While you may be tempted to suck on candy and mints throughout the day, it is best to avoid them. Candy and mints are generally packed with a ton of sugar which can cause bacteria and acid buildup in your mouth, which then leads to tooth decay. If you are craving something sweet, choose a sugar-free version and enjoy it.
Ditch the acidic foods.
Foods that contain a lot of acid can actually cause the acid level in your mouth to rise as well, which will then lead to enamel erosion and yep, you guessed it, tooth decay.
Brush your teeth as often as possible.
While it is ideal for you to brush your teeth after each meal you consume, it is not always possible, so it is important to brush your teeth a minimum of twice per day. Sugars and acid on your teeth can remain there for up to 30 minutes after you consume a food or beverage, so do keep that in mind.
Steve S. Kim, DDS Is Here to Help You Maintain a Healthy Smile
Dr. Steve S. Kim is here to help you keep your smile as bright, decay free, and happy as possible. If you have any questions about dental care or how to avoid tooth decay through your diet, reach out to our team in Torrance, CA today!