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Eating healthy isn’t just good for your waistline, but for your teeth, too. Many people don’t realize proper nutrition helps strengthen teeth and prevent serious issues such as tooth decay. Your Waco dentist, Dr. Corbet Locke, explains the benefits of a nutritional diet for good dental health.

A Balanced Diet

A good diet provides a variety of nutrients from several different foods. Without variety, even healthy foods like bread and pasta, can damage teeth over time. Patients should avoid “fad diets.” Any new diet craze that involves eliminating whole food groups or concentrating on just a select food group will deprive your body, and your teeth, of necessary vitamins and minerals.

Foods and Drinks to Avoid

Any food item high in sugar and other starches can damage teeth. Food that is especially chewy or sticky, such as caramel or granola bars, allow sugar to stick to teeth. Candy and gum expose teeth to high amounts of sugar, too. Sodas, sports drinks, and even fruit juices will douse your teeth in harmful sugars.

The bad bacteria residing in your mouth feed on sugar. As the bacteria eat and multiply, plaque buildup begins and the production of oral acids increases. Soon enamel erosion occurs, weakening you teeth’s defenses and eventually causing tooth decay.

Healthy Options

Avoid eating candy or drinking soda and other sugary drinks. Fruit, unlike fruit juice, contains a high water content to help rinse away excessive sugar and provide necessary vitamins and minerals. Meat, bran, and some nuts provide needed doses of iron. Dairy products give patients the calcium, which strengthens tooth enamel.

If you feel the urge to snack, try chewing sugar-free gum. Chewing gum helps control the urge to snack, and promotes saliva production, which aids in cleansing the mouth of bacteria and food particles.

Preventive Care

Good oral hygiene is an excellent form of preventive dentistry. By brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, patients help prevent the onset of dental problems including tooth decay or gum disease.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Waco Dentist

In addition to a good diet, regular checkups and cleanings are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Locke, contact our 76712 dental office by calling (254) 776-4888. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and surrounding communities.