Much like the rest of the body, our teeth also need healthy foods to stay in good health. Avoid foods that are high in sugar such as candies other sweet treats. These foods increase the risk of tooth decay. Instead, choose nutritious foods for strong teeth and healthy gums such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products.
The number of times we eat in a day is also a factor to our risk of tooth decay. It is important to limit snacks high in sugar. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away the tooth enamel, the outer shell of your teeth. Try to limit snacks to no more than three times per day and rinse your mouth with water each time to clear food off from your teeth. When snacking, choose healthier options like unsalted and unsweetened foods, fruits, nuts, seeds etc.
When our calcium levels deplete, it causes bone loss in the mouth, as it does in other parts of the body, which may lead to loosening of teeth. The recommended dietary allowance for adults is 1,000 mg of calcium, which is 3 cups of low-fat dairy milk, cheese, yogurt, or spinach, kale, and broccoli. Talk to your doctor about your calcium intake and if needed, your doctor might prescribe calcium supplements.
Staying Hydrated during the Golden Years
Water is essential for many bodily functions, such as lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, and pumping blood to the muscles. With age, you might lose some of your sense of thirst. Also, some medicines might make it even more important to have plenty of fluids.
It’s important for your body to have plenty of fluids each day. Water helps your body absorb nutrients from food, and it helps you digest your food. Water also helps cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and sugar.
Stay well hydrated – drink at least 10 cups (8 oz. cups) of water every day. Choose safe tap water over bottled water. Your tap water might contain a mineral called fluoride which helps prevent tooth decay. Click here to learn more about your city’s tap water safety and fluoride facts.
Water is best, but if you do not like the taste of water you can add fruit or flavoring or switch it up with low-fat milk or a limited amount of 100% juice.