The smile diet
How changing what you eat and drink can give you a healthy smile
Dr Kshama Chandan
When it comes to the health of your teeth, “you are what you eat”. It is not only what you choose to eat and how often you eat but also when you eat that affects your general health as well as the heath of your teeth and gums.
While chocolate, sweets, candies, fruit juices, fizzy pops and alcohol give you a short burst of energy and satisfy your taste buds, they are packed with ingredients that lead to long-term problems like tooth wear, gum disease, tooth loss, tooth decay as well as wider health problems like diabetes and obesity.
Eating a balanced diet, limiting in-between meal snacks, reducing the intake of sugary beverages and substituting them with healthier options is already a step taken in the right direction. For a good oral health, keep these tips in mind while choosing your meals and snacks. And drink plenty of water if you can.
CHOOSE DAIRY PRODUCTS
Milk and other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt are low in sugar, contain calcium that help strengthen teeth. If you decide to add yogurt to your diet, choose a plain variety with no added sugar.
LEAN PROTEINS FOR THE WIN
Phosphorus rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, dry beans, peas and other legumes strengthen teeth.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ADD AN EXTRA PUNCH
Fruits like apples and carrots are high in water and fiber and tend to increase saliva production which reduces the risk of cavities. Moreover, leafy greens typically find their way onto any healthy food list. Add some handful of baby spinach to your next salad or throw some kale on your pizza. You can also try adding some greens to your smoothie.
Nuts contain protein and minerals that are important for the overall health of your mouth- Enjoy a quarter cup of almonds with your lunch or add a handful to a salad or a stir-fry dinner.
A healthy diet has an extremely positive impact on your mouth and teeth. Tooth-friendly choices can do wonders not only to our mouth but our body too. By removing unhealthier options and replacing them with nutritious alternatives, our physical health, mental wellbeing and our smile will all feel the benefits. Say no to the potential damage caused by sugar and acid and give your mouth, teeth and gums the best chance to flourish.
It’s time for all of us to embrace the smile diet and show off those sparkly white pearlies!
Dr Kshama Chandan is a leading dental practitioner with advanced prosthodontic training