March – National Nutrition Month

We know that in order to have proper nutrition, we need to eat a well balanced diet.  If you don’t give your body the nutrients it needs, your health as well as your mouth, may suffer. The first step in the digestion process begins with your mouth, teeth and gums.  Properly chewing your food goes a long way in making sure you get what you need.  A poor diet can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.  High carbs and sugary foods contribute to the production of plaque which will cause cavities.

Here are a few useful tips courtesy of MouthHealthy.org, the ADA’s consumer website:

  • Follow the recommended nutritional guidelines. Your individual nutrition and calorie needs depend on your age, gender, level of physical activity and other health factors. However, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a balanced and healthy diet should include fruits and vegetables; grains, especially whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat bread; low-fat or fat-free dairy foods; and lean protein choices.
  • Stay away from foods that harm your dental health. Empty calorie foods such as candy, sweets and snack foods are a cause for dental concern, not only because they offer no nutritional value, but because the amount and type of sugar that they contain can adhere to teeth. The bacteria in your mouth feed off these sugars, releasing acids, which can lead to tooth decay. In addition, sugar-containing drinks — soda, lemonade, juice and sweetened coffee or tea — are particularly harmful because sipping them causes a constant sugar bath over teeth, which promotes tooth decay.
  • Eat foods that benefit dental health. Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, leafy greens and almonds are foods that may benefit tooth health thanks to their high amounts of calcium and other nutrients they provide. Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs are good sources of phosphorus, which along with calcium, plays a critical role in dental health by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel. In addition, fruits and vegetables are high in water and fiber, which balance the sugars they contain and help to clean the teeth.

If you have any questions concerning your dental health and the part good nutrition plays, give us a call at Brogdon Dental 423-870-5698. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your dental needs.

Preventing Oral Cancer

There are many ways to help prevent developing oral cancer.  Some of the things you can do is practicing good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste, flossing and limiting the amount of sweets you eat. Also you might consider regulating your consumption of alcohol, smoking and chewing tobacco and limiting your exposure to the sun. Visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and check up will help in prevention.

You might want to consider increasing your intake of folic acid. According to the American Dental Association, women especially that consume folate, which is a water-soluble B vitamin, may protect themselves from developing oral cancer. Some of the food that are rich in folate and B vitamins are leafy green vegetable, beans and peas, and citrus fruits and juices. There are many foods that contain folic acid which is a synthetic form of folate. These include grains, breads, flours, corn meals, cereals, rice, and pasta to name a few.

So besides using good dental hygiene, consider improving your diet. Call us at Brogdon Dental to schedule your next cleaning and oral check up.

Take your vitamins…

How many times did you hear your mother say, “Did you take your vitamins?”  I know as a kid my Mom would say this to me every morning before school as she would dole out our Flintstone vitamins. But seriously, vitamins do play a major role in our health, but did you know that certain vitamins can help with your dental health?  Doctors have found that Calcium and Vitamin D not only help your bones but can help strengthen your teeth as well.

According to WebMD… “If you’re supplementing your diet with calcium and vitamin D to prevent bone loss, you may be more likely to hang onto your pearly whites, according to a report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Toronto.”

To explore the role of supplementation on tooth retention, the researchers followed more than 140 older adults for five years. Participants took either a placebo or 500 mg of calcium plus 700 units of vitamin D daily for three years. Both during and after the trial, their teeth were examined periodically.

For those who took supplements, the likelihood of losing one or more teeth was 40% less, even two years later. Tooth loss was also linked to the number of cavities, frequency of flossing, and use of thiazide diuretics, a type of medication that helps lower blood pressure.

Adding vitamins like calcium and vitamin D to your morning regime can not only help you feel better and have stronger bones, but can help save your teeth.

Be sure not to overdo though. The recommended upper limits are 2,500 mg a day for calcium and 1,000 units a day for vitamin D. Any more than that could be toxic. Be sure to check with your doctor if you take more than the recommended amount.

And don’t forget to brush and floss daily as well. Your Mom would be proud!