Sensible Healthy Eating Habits: Keys to Strong and Healthy Teeth

One of the common misconceptions about dental health is that it can only be obtained through brushing and flossing. But those habits alone won't suffice. In addition, your teeth, bones and gums still need proper nutrition to become strong and healthy. Ideally, you should eat balanced and healthy meals.

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine's Dr. Courtney Chin, DDS, MPH, affirms that what we eat or drink seriously affect overall health, including teeth and gums. Accordingly, we need to eat a balanced diet, consisting of protein and carbohydrates (i.e., fruits, vegetables, fish and meat). Snacks and small meals should also consist of healthy food choices.

However, there are certain kinds of carbohydrate-filled foods that we need to avoid to minimize the risk of tooth decay. Sugary and starchy foods may be delicious, but eating too much of it can cause cavities. Most processed foods that contain sugar, especially the gooey and sticky stuff, promotes tooth decay.

So should we give up sugary and starchy foods? Not necessarily. However, we should practice moderation when eating these items, serving them only at certain times to minimize consumption on these cavity-causing foods. For instance, you can indulge in chocolates as after-meal desserts.

It is wise to consult your dentist regarding your food choices. Ask for help in formulating your meal and snack plan. At most, he or she will likely tell you to put a lid on the sugary and starchy foods and make healthy choices instead.

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