As a complex machine, the body’s various systems are inexorably tied together.

Simply put, you are what you eat. But how, in specific, does your diet impact your mouth? And if that’s the case, what should you and your family be eating in order to optimize your food intake?

Easy! We’re here to guide you through the impacts and choices you have to make when it comes to your dental-friendly diet:

Why Does My Diet Matter?

“If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infection,” according to the American Dental Association (ADA). “This may contribute to gum disease.”

Additionally, research indicates that the earlier one experiences nutritional imbalances, the more likely they are to be affected by dental cavities and/or malformations. And if one is subject to these imbalances later in life, they may still experience other deficiencies and obstacles.

Thus, the earlier one indulges in a rich, well-balanced diet, the earlier they are setting themselves up for a lifetime of dental health and longevity — which encompasses both the gums and the teeth in addition to other areas of the body.

What Should I Be Eating?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has identified that foods rich in phosphorus, calcium, and Vitamin C are optimal foods for building and maintaining excellent oral health. Specifically, such a diet calls for plentiful fruits (such as citrus fruits), vegetables (specifically dark, leafy greens), lean meats, nuts and beans, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

During pregnancy, women also need to modify their diet to better accommodate their changing bodies. Higher levels of fiber and antioxidants — in conjunction with a decrease in refined sugars — are reported to be wise dental and overall choices both for the woman and the baby she is carrying.

Finally, eating gentle, crunchy foods, as well as regularly drinking water, can help to scrape and rinse extra plaque off the service of one’s teeth, making them healthy snacking decisions from the inside-out, no matter the time of day.

How Can I Help Teach My Children About This?

The earlier you teach your children about healthy food and oral hygiene, the better! One of the best ways to teach kids about such choices is to set a good example for them. By preparing and eating healthy food yourself — as well as flossing and brushing regularly — you’ll be demonstrating behaviors that they will pick up on and continue as they grow older.

Additionally, you can pack healthy lunches for them, purchase children’s books centered around dental education, and bring them in every six months for their regular pediatric dental appointment.

Of course, if you have further questions or are ready to bring your child in for their cleaning, it’s time to reach out to Setzer, Cochran, and Soares Pediatric Dentistry! We specialize in helping kids build and maintain a healthy smile in a warm and welcoming environment, so call us today to schedule your appointment!