Will You Be Spring Cleaning Your Family’s Diet?

healthy eating supports dental health

Will You Be Spring Cleaning Your Family’s Diet?

Posted by James Cadigan in Dental Health 15 Apr 2017

AT this time of year, many of us will thoroughly spring-clean our homes, but it can also be a great opportunity to spring-clean your diet, especially with more seasonal produce coming into the stores. Why not get creative, dust off your cookery books or look online for recipes to try out new and interesting foods.

Good Nutrition is Vital for Healthy Teeth and Gums

We cannot hope to have healthy teeth and strong gums without ensuring our diet contains all the essential vitamins and minerals. Without strong and healthy teeth, it is more difficult to eat properly. Imagine trying to bite into a nice crisp crunchy apple with loose or missing teeth. So, what do you need for a healthy mouth?

Calcium, Phosphorus, Zinc and Iron

You probably already know calcium is important for teeth, as it strengthens teeth and the bones supporting them. Good sources of calcium include leafy green vegetables, almonds and sugar-free dairy products. Phosphorus helps your body absorb calcium and sources include cheese, milk and yoghurt, as well as whole grains, red meat, lentils, beans and nuts. Zinc helps to fight plaque bacteria and you’ll find this mineral in red meat, oysters, cashews, and in mushrooms, squash and dark chocolate (in moderation of course!). Iron is essential for healthy red blood cells and is found in eggs, red meats, seafood, leafy greens, and in enriched breads and cereals.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps your mouth produce plenty of saliva which has a protective effect on your oral health. It is found in carrots and other orange fruits and vegetables, as well as leafy greens. You’ll also find it in fish and egg yolks.

Vitamin B

This vitamin helps prevent canker sores and oral inflammation, and you’ll find it in red meats, dairy products and in poultry and fish, as well as in spinach, legumes and almonds.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps to keep the connective tissues in your gums healthy and strong. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes.

Vitamin D

Also known as the sunshine vitamin, this vitamin helps us to absorb calcium and can be obtained through exposure to sunlight for just a quarter of an hour each day. However, in our climate that isn’t always easy! You’ll find vitamins D in some breakfast cereals, as well as in milk, eggs, cod liver oil and in fish.

Vitamin E

This vitamin helps prevent gum disease as it is an antioxidant and helps to decrease inflammation. Vitamin E is found in nuts and seeds and in wheat germ, and in fish, avocado and leafy greens.

The Occasional Sweet Treat Won’t Hurt

If you have children, then you will be all too well aware that Easter, like Christmas, brings to the forefront a desire for tasty treats. Here at Chatham Dental Centre, we know it’s unrealistic to expect children (and adults) to avoid all sweet treats but it’s a case of having everything in moderation. Rather than choosing sticky candies, it’s better to opt for chocolate. This makes a better choice than hard candies as the chocolate will dissolve more easily from your teeth. If you do want to satisfy a sweet treat, it’s better to enjoy it at the end of a meal or to eat it all at once as the damage to your teeth will be minimized.

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