10 Ways a Healthy Diet Equals a Healthy Smile

By: JD Theis..

Your smile is the first thing that people see on you. Whether the moment is as mundane as the instant you pass a stranger on the street or as significant as a career interview, a healthy smile speaks volumes in an instant.

The easiest, most economical and wholesome way to have a beautiful, healthy smile is through a healthy diet and preventive dentistry. Additionally, a healthy diet will benefit your overall wellbeing in countless other ways. More energy, natural weight control, healthier skin and hair are just a few ways that a healthy diet will benefit you - and those benefits will ultimately shine out of your fresh healthy smile, from within.

10 Ways a Healthy Diet Equals a Healthy Smile

1) A healthy diet begins with choosing foods wisely. Make conscious decisions about what you put in your mouth. For a healthy smile, eat a nutritional diet with variety. Choose foods from each of the five major food groups and eat them in balanced proportions.

2) Choose cheese. It is a well known fact that calcium from dairy foods such as milk, cheese, or yogurt positively affects teeth and bone health by increasing bone acquisition during growth, slowing age-related bone loss, and reducing osteoporosis-induced fragility fractures. There are also several potential qualities that cheese and milk have that, when included in your healthy diet, can facilitate you acquiring a healthy smile. Dairy foods stimulate the flow of saliva, which increases plaque pH. Saliva prevents enamel demineralization and helps clear fermentable carbohydrates from your mouth.

3) Raise your hand for raisins. Raisins are a great way to keep yourself on track when your goal is a healthy diet. They are a convenient, high-energy low fat snack, easy to eat and almost never go bad. Furthermore, recent studies at the University of Illinois Chicago, College of Dentistry, have found that compounds found in raisins fight bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease. So, eating raisins may also help you keep a healthy smile. Researchers identified five compounds in Thompson seedless raisins: oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde, betulin, betulinic acid, and 5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural. All of these are known phytochemicals - antioxidants found in plants. Oleanolic acid inhibited the growth of two types of oral bacteria: Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes periodontal disease.

4) A healthy diet includes limiting the number of in-between meals you eat. More snacks can mean more calories, and poor dietary choices. Furthermore, each time you eat foods that contain sugar or starches, your teeth are attacked by acid for 20 minutes or more. Limiting snacks is the smart choice for a healthy smile.

5) If you do snack, choose nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or fruit. These healthy dietary choices supply your body with essential vitamins, proteins and fiber and are less likely to promote unhealthy weight-gain - and cavities. Make wholesome choices for a healthy diet, and get the benefits of a healthy smile.

6) Adding tea to your healthy diet benefits your teeth and gums. Mounting studies have shown that tea is an excellent source of flavonoids, which are a natural class of antioxidants. Antioxidants rid the body of molecules called free radicals, which are side products of damage done to the body by pollution and the natural aging process. Teas have been shown to reduce the chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, flu, heart disease, high blood pressure, Parkinson's Disease and dental caries. Studies have shown that antioxidants in black tea will suppress the growth of bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease. Those antioxidants inhibited the attachment of bacteria to the tooth's surface. So, drink tea for your overall health, as well as a healthy smile.

7) Foods that are a detriment to your overall health are often concurrently bad for your oral health. Avoiding these foods with contribute to a healthy diet as well as a healthy smile: Soft drinks; diet drinks - which contain phosphoric acid; excessive fruit drinks - which are often high is sugar; coffee or tea with sugar added; chocolate and candy - particularly those that you leave in your mouth and let dissolve; and large amount of dried fruit - dehydration concentrates the sugar in the fruit.

8) A healthy smile mirrors a healthy diet. Resent studies have found that your mouth is a reflection of your overall health. Possibilities include: healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables may help clear plaque off or your teeth; obesity may promote inflammatory chemicals linked to gum disease; and physical activity may cut inflammation helping the entire body including the mouth.

9) A healthy diet includes sufficient water intake. Your body's chief chemical component is water. On the average, it makes up about 60% of your weight. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. It also helps rinse the mouth and is a healthy alternative to sugar-laden juices, soft drinks and other beverages. Adequate water intake also helps combat plaque and bad breath. For a healthy diet and a health smile, the Institute of Medicine advises that men consume about 3.0 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

10) A healthy diet empowers you. When you make the decision to have a healthy diet, you are choosing to live well. And when you take action to craft everyday around that resolution, you will see growth in all aspects of your life. Nothing can contribute more to a beautiful, radiant, healthy smile than the feeling of control and self-respect that you will gain from choosing to take those first steps towards a fine, fit life.

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By Dr. Mina A. Mafi DDS. Natural Dentistry Services ? Amalgam Free, Cosmetic Dentistry and More, Available in San Diego, California.

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