We have all heard the expression you are what you eat and we know that maintaining a healthy well-balanced diet helps protect your body against Heart Disease, Cancer and Diabetes to name a few.

Well did you know that nutrition plays an important role in developing healthy teeth and gums? Food choices and eating habits affect the health of your gums in distinct ways.The most obvious is the relationship between high sugar in your diet and the increased incidents of cavities. Throughout our childhood we have learned that too many sweets will cause cavities.

Nutrition also plays a major role in the resistance to infections and inflammatory conditions like periodontitis. Your resistance to infections improves with antioxidants found in blueberries and strawberries, vitamin A rich food like carrots and dark leafy greens. Zinc found in wheat germ and peanuts, Iron from red meats and green vegetables and also fish oils in salmon and anchovies or supplements. Whole grain breads and cereals are a good source of B vitamins which contribute to healthy gum tissue.Your body can reduce inflammation (gingivitis and periodontitis) with Zinc, Copper, Selenium, vitamin E and fish oils. Some good sources of these vitamins and minerals are almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, fish, grains and spinach. Vitamins C,D,E and fish oils also reduce tissue destruction, which occurs during periodontitis and helps with healing and increases bone strength. These factors are crucial for optimum healing when undergoing periodontal treatments and maintaining healthy gum and bone. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese contain calcium and vitamin D which strengthen teeth and bones.

So the next time you have that spinach salad with strawberries and slivered almonds, or that blueberry whole grain muffin, or you are just munching on some sunflower seeds remember you are helping to maintain optimum oral health.

Your health professionals at WestClair Dental would like to remind you that you still have to brush and floss daily, and have your regular dental cleanings to help maintain your dental health.