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Nutrition For Dental Health

by Julie Lichty Balay, MS, RD

There are also simple ways you can eat to keep your mouth moist, which may help control infections and glossodynia and of course help you feel more comfortable. The most obvious solution to dry mouth is hydration. Frequently sipping plain water, preferably fluoridated tap water, is the first course of action. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, since they may exacerbate dryness and dehydration. Eating moist foods like soups, sauces, fruits, and vegetables while avoiding dry and salty foods like pretzels and chips as well as citrus juices will also help keep oral tissues moist. Paying attention to the temperature of foods and beverages is also important, since hot foods and beverages can be very drying or burn the mouth. Taking small bites and chewing food thoroughly will help stimulate saliva flow. Chewing gums containing xylitol may also be helpful for people who have xerostomia.

As you can see, eating for oral health is not so different from eating for overall health. Focusing on low-fat proteins, whole grains, and colorful fruits and vegetables is the basis of a healthy diet for the whole body. Eating regularly scheduled meals, avoiding concentrated sweets, and controlling blood glucose are no doubt already familiar concepts. Combining nutrition with proper dental hygiene and regular dental care should keep a smile on your face and keep appointments with your dental care team as stress-free as possible.

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