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February 27, 2019

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Eat Well. Brush Well. Live Well.

In honor of National Nutrition Month, I would like to remind our patients and readers the importance of good nutrition and how it affects your oral health.  When thinking about overall general health, many people don't usually include oral health in the equation. But the truth is they are both connected; your oral health can affect our general health, and your mouth also says a lot about our health and lifestyle.

We all have heard the saying you are what you eat.  Your diet and food choices will affect both your oral health and body. Diets that are high in carbohydrates and sugars will not only lead to many chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes, it will also cause plaque to build up on our teeth. Plaque contains bacteria which will cause cavities and gum disease. Periodontitis or gum disease is a serious gum infection.  According to an article on WebMD study shown people with serious gum disease were 40% more likely to have a chronic condition. Gums play an important role in our overall health.  Gums keep your teeth in place and strong, hence having strong and healthy gums is crucial.  And sometimes, depending on your diet and health, regular brushing and flossing may not be enough so keeping up with your dental appointment is important. 


In addition to good oral hygiene habit and keeping your dental appointment on track, consider including the following food in your diet that can boost the health of your teeth and gums:

 

Ginger root is known for its health benefits in the Asia for century.  It can block bacterial infections and ease inflammation. 

 

Diary products such as cheese, milk and yogurt that are rich in calcium can help strengthen bone and gums.  A protein called casein found in most diary products can help prevent cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to the tooth surface.

 

Leafy greens such as kale and spinach are packed with vitamins and minerals. Due to it's high fiber content, leafy greens will require some chewing which creates saliva. This helps to flush out food particles, bacteria, and plaque that may be sticking to your teeth near the gum line.

 

According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, a healthy balanced diet is one that should include fruits, vegetables, grains dairy and protein food. I know eat healthfully can be tough especially for those who have a busy lifestyle. This is why planning ahead is essential. Shop, prepare and cook your food for the whole week.  By doing this you may actually find it more cost effective and less food wastage.

 

If you're one of those people who like to starve yourself and only eat when you're extremely hungry, you will more likely to make poor food decision.  According to a Cleveland dietitian Amy Jamieson-Petonic, after 3 hrs without food, blood sugar begins to fall.  After 5 hours, blood sugar will plummet and you grab whatever you can to refuel. Hence, it’s probably a good idea to have a little healthy snack every 3-5 hrs, see below for some healthy snacks ideas:

source: https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/printablematerials/DGTipsheet27MiniFridgeMakeover.pdf

 

Finally, don't forget to stay active! It can improve your overall health and reduce the risk of developing diseases.  You don’t have to join the gym, just keep moving throughout the day. Go for a walk, bike or take the stairs.

Keep it simple and make one small change at a time. Eat healthy, stay active, keep brushing and keep flossing!  If you have any questions about oral health, feel free to contact us, either myself or one of our registered hygienists will do our best to answer your question.

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Michael E. Knauss Family Dentistry

5686 North 103rd Street

Omaha, NE 68134

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