Keep your mouth happy and healthy in the new year

With 2014 coming to a close and 2015 at our fingertips, now is the time that we re-think our habits and resolve to have a healthier new year. Though our personal reasons for transforming our routines to include a more balanced diet and exercise may be different, we will be happy to know that our New Year’s resolutions can have positive effects on our dental health as well. In celebration of the new year, D.C. dentist Dr. Andrew Cobb would like to remind you of some important dietary tips for a healthy smile!

Because your mouth is your body’s first point of contact with the nutrients you consume in food, it makes sense that your diet has a significant impact on your teeth and gums. Did you know that certain foods can increase your risk of developing cavities and gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis? In fact, studies supported by the American Dental Association have shown that patients who have lost teeth due to decay or bone loss tend to have diets that include less vegetables and more fat and added sugar.

If you’re looking to improve your nutrition and oral health throughout the new year, be sure to prepare meals and snacks that include the following food groups:

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  • Fruits and vegetables contain many essential vitamins and minerals and should compose about half of what you eat every day. Prepare fresh vegetables with dinner or include fruit in your yogurt or cereal for breakfast!
  • Dairy: the importance of calcium to teeth strength is not a myth. Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy options for the best overall results.
  • Lean protein such as boneless, skinless chicken, lean beef, and even legumes and eggs!
  • Grains, including oatmeal and brown rice

Sometimes what you don’t eat is just as important as what you do eat. Keep in mind that when you’re creating stellar oral health with fruits and vegetables, it is also critical to stay away from added sugar, which can destroy tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Dr. Cobb encourages everyone to start the new year off right with a balanced diet that will make your body and your mouth happy!

And don’t forget to visit Dr. Cobb regularly for preventive dental care as part of a healthy lifestyle.