At Mai Dentistry, we share your optimism for creating a fresh start for your family in 2014. Fitness and weight loss top the list of popular New Year’s resolutions, yet few people commit to taking better care of their teeth. If your family’s New Year’s resolution involves shedding excess pounds, you should understand the relationship between your diet and oral health. In addition to scheduling regular dental cleanings with your Garland TX family dentist, Dr. Mai, follow these pointers for a healthy, happy 2014, full of smiles.
Dodging the Diet Soda Trap
If you think substituting diet sodas for regular colas is a healthy improvement, think again. All carbonated beverages, whether full-calorie, clear, or caffeine-free, are highly acidic and can compromise your tooth enamel. Dark or colored diet sodas also cause unsightly yellow and brown teeth stains. If you or your children consume soda, sip through a straw to minimize contact between your teeth and the beverage. Always rinse your mouth after drinking soda. For healthy teeth and weight loss alike, water will always be your best bet for health.
Don’t Do Away With Dairy
Many dieters’ weight loss plans eliminate all dairy products from their diet. Dr. Vi Truong-Mai warns that this approach to dieting can actually cause harm to your teeth in the long run. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium, which keeps teeth strong and healthy. Calcium is especially important for growing children. Dairy products also neutralize acids in your mouth, which deters tooth decay and surface damage to enamel. Instead of avoiding all dairy items, opt for products made with skim or 2 percent milk.
Rinse After Eating Fruits
Eating fruit supports weight loss by creating a feeling of fullness, adding fiber to your diet, and providing key vitamins and nutrients. Fresh and dried fruits are healthier than chocolate and candy, but all of these foods contain large amounts of sugar. As with sodas, fruit smoothies and acidic juices are best sipped through a straw. After you consume fruits, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water. If you eat seeded fruits, such as strawberries, you should floss to remove seeds from between teeth and near the gum line.
Say No to Sports Drinks
Exercise is a key component of many weight loss plans, and sports drinks seem like the natural choice for workouts. Not so, cautions Dr. Mai. One eight-ounce serving of Gatorade contains only 50 calories, but it also contains a shocking 14 grams of sugar. Sports beverages were originally developed for athletes to replace electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during marathon training sessions and competitions. For the average person, however, sports drinks offer no advantages over plain water. Only choose Gatorade and similar drinks if your intensive workout exceeds one hour. Again, drink through a straw to avoid bathing teeth in sugar and acids, and rinse your mouth with water afterward.
Dr. Vi Truong-Mai encourages your family to start 2014 with a commitment to a healthy body, mind, and mouth. Mai Dentistry offers services to make your teeth straighter, whiter, and brighter. Call us at 972-530-0552 today to set up an appointment for cosmetic dental procedures, family dentistry, or preventive maintenance. We serve Garland, Wylie, Plano, Richardson, and surrounding areas.