Brush Up on the Dos & Don’ts of Oral Care

Good oral health is an important component of overall health. Start by following these tips on oral care and learning about signs that should send you to the dentist.

What you eat affects your health — including your oral health. While maintaining a healthful, well-balanced diet is important, some eating habits that seem harmless can actually compromise your dental health. Get to know these common diet traps that can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums.

Skimping on Nutrients

Getting your daily dose of recommended nutrients helps keep your teeth and gums healthy — and lowers your risk of infections. Some important nutrients for your teeth include:

Calcium: Your teeth and jaws are mostly made of calcium, so getting enough helps keep them strong and healthy. Dairy products, beans, and oysters are all excellent sources.

Vitamins: Vitamin D — found in milk, egg yolks, and fish — helps your body absorb calcium. If you get too little vitamin C, you risk bleeding gums and loose teeth. Boost your C intake with sweet potatoes, red peppers, and oranges. B vitamins help you avoid canker sores. Lean chicken and fish, pasta, spinach, and almonds are good sources of B vitamins.

Iron: An iron deficiency can lead to inflammation of the tongue and mouth sores. You can find iron in bran cereals, nuts, and spices.

Protein:  Protein-rich foods also promote dental and gum health. Dairy products pack a double punch, being high in both calcium and protein. Other foods high in protein include meats, nuts, and eggs.

If you’re worried that you might not be meeting your nutritional needs, you may want to consider supplements, but it’s important to talk to your doctor and your dentist about this.

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