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You've heard the old adage, "You are what you eat." There's a lot of truth to it, especially as it relates to oral health. Keeping teeth cavity-free and gums and supporting bone structure viable and strong takes more than brushing, flossing and going to the dentist for check-ups and Healthy Food cleanings.

While these are very important, they simply aren't enough. Your choice of food and drink can do your mouth a lot of good or a lot of damage. The look and longevity of your smile depend a lot on what you put in your mouth.

What are the best foods for oral health?

Of course, sugary foods are a well-known no-no because of the plaque they help form on tooth surfaces and at the gum line. Plaque harbors bacteria which secrete acids that erode tooth enamel. Also, foods such as tomatoes, lemons, and other citrus fruits are loaded with acids and should be consumed as part of a meal to limit their corrosive effects.

That being said, what food should you feed your family? The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, outlines several good choices that should become part of any family's mealtime routines:

  1. Fruits and veggies - Particularly beneficial are crisply textured kinds such as apples, celery, and raw carrots. While these foods are nutritious, they also provide excellent exercise for teeth, gums, connective tissues, and jawbone.
  2. Whole grains - They provide nourishing fuel, and unlike refined white flour, they are less likely to stick to teeth.
  3. Low-fat or no-fat dairy products - Skim milk, cheese, and plain yogurt provide much-needed calcium and Vitamin D to strength bones and teeth in children all the way through senior years.
  4. Lean meats and fish
  5. Legumes and beans
  6. Plenty of water - The usual recommendation is eight cups a day. Water helps flush food particles from between the teeth, especially helpful when brushing is not at option at work or school.
  7. Sugarless gum - Yes, it helps to chew gum as this promotes saliva production (washing food and acids off the teeth).

Other dietary considerations and dental hygiene

In general, both the waistline and teeth benefit from less snacking between meals. However, when you or your family want to snack, choose fruit, cheese, veggies, milk and water. Avoid high calorie, sticky foods such candies and chips.

In addition to your healthy diet, be sure you and your loved ones brush with a good fluoride toothpaste two times a day and floss daily. Visit your East Ellijay, Georgia family dentist twice annually for check-ups and dental cleanings.

East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Doctors David Settel, Cindy Hall, Ron Reid, and Wesley Burke want your bright, attractive smile to begin on the inside. Let these experienced and knowledgeable dentists support your efforts to feed your family a tooth-healthy diet. Call their staff for an appointment today at (706)635-2218.

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