Eat Healthy for a Healthy Smile

Healthy food is good for your smile as well as for your body. Eat healthy this month during National Nutrition Month, and give yourself something to smile about!

Dr. Christine Haag, a dentist with First Choice Dental says, "It's important to understand the strong link between nutrition and dental health." She explains, "In fact, oral tissues like gums, teeth, and even chewing muscles are living tissues, and they have the same nutritional requirements as any other living tissue in the body." She adds, "Diet not only affects the number and kinds of cavities, but can also be an important factor in the development of periodontal disease, or gum disease."

In addition to brushing and flossing, eating nutritious food helps promote good dental health. Haag says, "Certain foods can help neutralize the acids in our mouth which can help fight bacteria that causes tooth decay." She explains, "Cavities and gum disease are caused by bacteria that "accumulate" on the teeth and gums and causes plaque. If the plaque isn't brushed away, the bacteria in plaque can wear away tooth enamel."

10 foods that are good for your smile!

  1. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin A and C and are good choices for a beautiful smile.
  2. Apples help keep teeth healthy and white. The acid in the apple helps remove stains. Apples have been called nature's toothbrush because they stimulate the gums, increase saliva flow and reduce the build-up of cavity-causing bacteria.
  3. Carrots increase the absorption of calcium by the body. They contain Vitamin A that helps you absorb calcium and makes your teeth healthier.
  4. Cheese is a perfect choice for healthy teeth and gums. It contains calcium that preserves and rebuilds tooth enamel and helps produce saliva, which kills bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities.
  5. Celery requires extra chewing, which promotes saliva production, which neutralizes bacteria.
  6. Green tea helps fight cavities and contains substances called catechins that kill the bacteria in your teeth that cause plaque.
  7. Kiwi contains vitamin C that helps keep your gums healthy. The vitamin C present in this fruit helps in production of collagen. Collagen is one of the primary ingredients of gum tissue.
  8. Oranges also contain vitamin C to help promote gum health.
  9. Sesame seeds and other naturally abrasive foods help slough off plaque and help build tooth enamel. Sesame seeds are also high in calcium.
  10. Water is among the best beverages you can choose for a healthy smile and body. Plain old water keeps your gums hydrated. And it is the best way to stimulate saliva, your body's greatest defense against the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. Rinsing your mouth with water also helps flush food particles that can become trapped between teeth. Haag reminds us, "National Nutrition Month is the perfect time to focus on great nutritional habits that help your body and your smile." She says, "Good nutrition is just as important for a healthy teeth and gums as it is for a healthy body. A diet that's low in sugar and processed foods, and limits treats like sugary juices and sodas is better for your teeth and gums, and will help you avoid tooth decay and other oral health issues." For more information, visit