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Embracing Proper Nutrition for Improved Oral Health

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teeth nutrition-oral health-gum disease-spinach
Photo courtesy of Nathan Nuget

To care for your teeth, seeing a dentist regularly is crucial. According to Dr. Surina Sehgal, so is getting the right nutrition.

As the “foodie dentist” with thousands of followers on social media, Dr. Surina Sehgal keeps it simple when it comes to achieving a healthier smile.

“A lot of people are overcomplicating it by thinking the more fancy toothbrushes they use, the better,” she said. “For good oral health, you need a consistent oral hygiene regime, which includes brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily.”

Dr. Sehgal, a popular blogger based in the United Kingdom, says you should also follow a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains to maintain healthy teeth and gums. 

An unhealthy mouth affects overall well-being

“Poor oral health means you’re susceptible to gum disease and dental decay, where there’s a buildup of bad bacteria in the mouth,” Dr. Sehgal said. “This buildup can resonate throughout the entire body.  There have been links of poor dental health and gum disease with diabetes, heart disease, and many other systemic health conditions.”

Dr. Sehgal explains if you have more bad bacteria in your mouth than good bacteria, it will have an impact on your digestion, gut health, immunity, and much more.

Nutrition goes a long way

Dr. Sehgal suggests skipping those fizzy drinks and sweets and loading up instead on fresh produce and products containing calcium.

“Dairy products like milk and yogurt have a type of calcium that’s easy for your body to absorb,” she said. “Canned salmon and sardines with bones are also good sources.”

For strong, healthy teeth, phosphorus plays an important role, along with Vitamin D.

“This micronutrient tells your intestines to absorb the calcium you’ve eaten and move it into your bloodstream,” Dr. Sehgal said. “Without enough vitamin D, your body will leach calcium out of your bones.”

When patients have severe vitamin C deficiencies, they can experience bleeding gums. Citrus fruits, berries, Brussels sprouts, and spinach are all good options.

Taking small, sustainable steps

“Having a healthy mouth is something you need to work at a little bit every single day,” Dr. Sehgal said. “Stick to the basics and master those, rather than trying to buy or source very fancy expensive equipment to help you.”

She adds, “Eat well generally. Everything in moderation.”

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