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Nourishing Your Smile: How Diet Impacts Oral Health

As we celebrate National Nutrition Month, Dr. Fitzpatrick encourages her patients to remember that your dietary choices profoundly influence your dental health. It’s important to be mindful when making decisions about what you consume and prioritize your oral hygiene habits. If we make small changes, we can ensure a healthy smile for years to come. Our team at Solstice Smiles Dental is here to support you on your journey to a healthier smile. 

What’s the Connection Between Diet and Dental Health?

As the gateway to our bodies, our mouths and what we consume play a crucial role in both our oral health and our overall health. Certain types of food can cause issues for you down the line, so it’s important for you to be aware of these foods to avoid:

  1. Sugar: Bacteria in the mouth feast on sugars, and produce acids as a bi-product that erode your tooth enamel, lead to cavities, and can cause gum disease.

  2. Acidic Foods: Foods high in acidity, such as citrus fruits and sodas, can weaken the tooth’s enamel over time, making teeth more sensitive and susceptible to decay.

  3. Low-Nutrient Foods: If your diet is packed with ultra-processed foods that have very little vitamins and minerals, you are asking for trouble when it comes to your teeth. Being deficient in these good-for-you nutrients can contribute to gum disease, tooth loss, and painful cavities.

How Can You Maintain Good Oral Health? 

Dr. Fitz has three simple tips for maintaining good oral health in the long term, including:

  1. A Balanced Diet: A diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C is essential for strong teeth and gums. You can get these by eating fruits, vegetables, protein (lean meat, eggs, fatty fish), nuts, and dairy products (cheese, unsweetened yogurt, milk). 

  2. Good Oral Hygiene: It’s important to not only brush and floss your teeth daily, but to also make sure you visit your Petworth dentist at least twice a year for a dental exam and professional cleaning. Dr. Fitz will notice any issues early on which will improve the chances of reversing the problem.

  3. Hydrate: Although most people understand the benefits of drinking water for their body, they may not understand the importance in relation to their oral health. Drinking water keeps your saliva working well so it is able to help breakdown food. Being hydrated reduces your chances of getting “dry mouth”, which can increase your likelihood of suffering with tooth decay. Also, when you drink water after you eat, it can help remove food particles from between your teeth which can reduce cavities.

Dr. Fitz and the dental hygienists at Solstice Smiles Dental in Petworth, are here to answer any of your oral hygiene and nutrition questions and help you achieve your smile goals in 2024. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any concerns you may have with your oral health. It’s never too late to make small improvements to your diet or your oral hygiene efforts—every little helps! Make an appointment today.


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