As you know, a balanced, nutritious diet is essential to healthy living. Poor nutrition can lead to all kinds of health issues, including oral health problems such as gum disease and cavities. In fact, studies show that people who have lost teeth or wear dentures don't eat as many fruits or vegetables and tend to have less nutritious diets overall.
Your mouth is your body’s initial point of contact with the nutrients you consume. So naturally, what you put in your mouth impacts not only your general health but also the health of your teeth and gums. In fact, if your nutrition is poor, the first signs often show up in your oral health.
According to MyPlate, a website from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, an agency of U.S. Department of Agriculture, a balanced diet should include:
- Fruits and vegetables. Combined these should be half of what you eat every day.
- Grains. Make sure at least half of the grains you eat are whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
- Dairy. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.
- Lean proteins. Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Try and vary your protein choices to include eggs, beans, peas and legumes, too. Eat at least 8 oz. of seafood a week.