Healthy eating for a healthy smile

by | Apr 3, 2024 | Food and Recipes, Health and Wellness

Food and beverage choices have an impact on a person’s oral and overall health. We know that a sugar-rich diet increases health risks like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but did you know that foods high in sugar or acid can also lead to a weakening of tooth enamel and contribute to tooth decay?

Keeping your teeth and mouth healthy requires more than just daily brushing, flossing and rinsing. Dental hygienists remind us to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet so that teeth and gums receive the nutrients that are essential to resisting oral diseases.

  • Read the labels. When shopping, avoid ingredients ending in “-ose” (such as fructose and dextrose) as they are typically high in sugar.
  • Cut back on added sugar by limiting sugary cereals, granola bars, sodas, energy drinks and fruit punches from your diet.
  • Choose nutritious snacks like apples, cheese and plain yogurt, following Canada’s Food Guide recommendations.
  • Set a daily limit on treats for children.
  • Make water your family’s beverage of choice.
  • Plan and pack snacks in advance to help prevent temptation.
  • Consider products flavoured with the natural sugar substitute xylitol.

Remember: the average diet can include some sugar, but moderation is key. By reducing your daily sugar intake and maintaining good oral hygiene habits (brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, cleaning between the teeth and rinsing daily), you can reduce your risk of tooth decay and other diseases.

For personalized advice on healthy food and beverage choices, talk to your dental hygienist during your next appointment. Together, you can work towards maintaining healthy smiles for a lifetime. Learn more at dentalhygienecanada.ca/sugar

Related Content

Rules for importing food to Canada

Rules for importing food to Canada

More food than ever before is being traded across borders. Many of the foods we eat and ingredients we use are imported – from spices, nuts and snack foods to coffee, tea and other beverages. While all this can bring adventure to our taste buds, more trade can add...

read more
Sustainable innovation extends local strawberry season

Sustainable innovation extends local strawberry season

The beginning of strawberry season is one of the most anticipated times of the year for local food lovers in Ontario. It used to be a crop limited to spring and early summer – but thanks to modern technology and sustainable production practices, we can enjoy the...

read more
Top tips to help older adults improve their oral health

Top tips to help older adults improve their oral health

Today’s seniors can expect to keep most, if not all, of their natural teeth as they age thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in oral and medical care. But keeping those teeth healthy can be a challenge. Restricted mobility, cognitive impairments and medications...

read more
Tips for staying healthy as you age

Tips for staying healthy as you age

Embracing the wisdom that comes with age can be a rewarding experience. With age comes the advantage of knowledge and life experiences. You may find yourself better equipped to make important life decisions and, hopefully, have the means to pursue your passions. Here...

read more
Dry mouth: When drinking more water isn’t enough

Dry mouth: When drinking more water isn’t enough

A sticky, dry mouth is more than an uncomfortable feeling. Occasional dry mouth from nervousness or dehydration goes away with a glass of water. But if your mouth is often dry, your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth, and it is difficult to chew, swallow and...

read more
Gingivitis: A red flag you can’t ignore

Gingivitis: A red flag you can’t ignore

Gingivitis, a common form of gum disease, silently affects seven in 10 Canadians during their lifetime. Caused by harmful bacteria in dental plaque, this mild infection lurks below the gum line, leading to red, swollen gums, tenderness, bleeding and bad breath. Often...

read more