An apple a day keeps cavities away? You can help prevent tooth decay by making smart and healthy food choices. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins like turkey, chicken and fish. Limit processed foods and beverages that are high in sugar – they can lead to tooth decay and obesity. Here are some MouthHealthy tips on foods that can be harmful to your dental health. Also, limit your alcohol intake since alcohol can irritate the sensitive lining of the mouth and may also increase your risk of oral cancer. To learn what foods are best for you, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov, a website from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
If you’ve lost any teeth, it’s a good idea to replace them. A full set of teeth will help you chew delicious and nutritious foods like meats, beans, fruits, grains, and vegetables. Ill-fitting dentures can lead to diets of soft food that are low in nutrients and don’t help your mouth stay clean.
Many medications can affect the taste of foods, your food preferences, and your appetite, so be sure to report any changes in your eating habits to your physician, dentist and dental hygienist.
Calcium Supplements: Bad for Your Heart?
Calcium is an important part of everyone’s diet, and it’s especially important as we get older to prevent bone loss or osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can happen in the jaw bone and when it does, may lead to your teeth becoming loose or falling out.
In a recent study, people who got their calcium almost exclusively from supplements were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with those who took no supplements.
Health care professionals recommend most adults get about 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day preferably from foods, including low-fat dairy like milk, cheese and yogurt since they contain other bone building nutrients along with calcium. That's about 3 cups a day. If you prefer vegetables and leafy greens, try broccoli, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, which also provide some calcium.
Calcium doesn’t work alone. Other nutrients, like phosphorus, are an important part of the structure of teeth. And vitamin D is needed to help absorb, carry and deposit calcium in the bone that supports your teeth.