Here’s something you might want to ponder. How did our human ancestors manage when there were no dental teams to care for damaged teeth or clean away plaque? It seems logical to assume that a lot of early humans must have been walking around with toothless grins, yet the truth is quite the contrary. Evidence shows that these people were in excellent health, and their mouths were almost free of dental disease. In other words, they never needed a dentist for a great smile.
Back in the old days, a natural diet and a few twigs and bones were all the preventive tools our ancestors needed. Today we have grown to rely on toothbrushes, toothpastes, floss, water irrigation, mouthwashes, and dentistry to keep dental disease away. Of course, we live longer than our ancestors did and have greater potential to succumb to oral health issues. And while we may no longer be able to live the simpler life they did, we can pay more attention to what we eat.
Here are some simple steps that will go a long way to keeping your mouth healthy…
– Try to eat balanced meals every day. And if you eat sweets, have them with a meal, not as a snack.
– Brush, floss, and rinse your mouth often. Otherwise, chew on a piece of sugarless gum or munch on fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples or celery.
– Be smart about snacking. A healthy snack doesn’t have to be boring – just take a look at these options…
Potato chips or popcorn? Switch those greasy, salty chips and pop the corn! Plain dry popcorn is best, but a little oil, butter or margarine won’t do too much harm. Just don’t chew the kernels!
Chocolate milk or OJ? Chocolate milk or flavored and fortified non-dairy milks have nutritional goodness and contain no more sugar than an equal serving of unsweetened orange juice. Even though they’re nutritious, foods like this shouldn’t be served too often during the day.
How about fruits? Fruit punch with real juice added doesn’t stack up to a drink that’s 100% juice, and a fresh pear is superior to raisins and other sugary dried fruits and fruit leathers that stick to your teeth.
Plain toasted oat cereal or granola? No doubt about it, plain unsweetened cereals are far better. Granola and granola bars are often high fat, and they’re sweet and sticky enough to give your teeth something to worry about.
Just like our ancient ancestors, savvy snacking and a nutritious and balanced diet are as important to your teeth and gums as to the rest of your body. Your teeth and your smile will thank you!