Eating Your Way To A Healthier Smile: New Year’s Nutrition Goals

Better choices for a healthier smile.

Start your year off right with nutrition ideas to help maintain a healthier smile!

New year, new you! With the new year just around the corner, you may be thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Some resolutions can be hard to maintain, but if you are looking for a goal to help keep you healthy, look at ways you can change your nutrition habits to help keep your smile happy and healthy. The staff at Monroe Family Dentistry wants to ensure their patients in Greenville, South Carolina and the surrounding area are making the best (and informed) choices about their oral health.

Start Off Small

Change can be hard for people, especially those who like a routine and familiarity. If you are looking to make more nutritious choices, start small. Here are some simple, small changes you can make to add more nutrition to your daily diet.

Steer away from sugar-laden drinks. Most drinks, including juices, have extra sugars added to them. Instead, look for sugar-free choices, including sugar-free syrup options for those who like flavored coffee. Nowadays, even sodas have sugar-free options. While water is the best choice, if you are looking to spruce up your plain water, look for sugar-free flavors to add, or even pick up carbonated or sparkling water if you want a few bubbles.

Replace one snack choice with a fresh fruit or vegetable. While the daily target is for five fresh fruit or vegetable servings a day, that can be hard for some people to maintain. To make sure you are getting enough fruits and vegetables, replace one of your snacks with a fresh fruit or vegetable each day. To help save time with preparation, many supermarkets have precut and pre-portioned fruits and vegetables available.

Keep frozen vegetables on hand. Frozen vegetables are easy to cook, provide the same nutrition as raw vegetables, and have the convenience of being on hand at all times. Frozen vegetables are great at adding more bulk to a meal. Keep a variety on hand so you can use them to add nutrition (and flavor) to any meal.

Make time for breakfast.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make sure you make time for something quick and healthy every morning. You can start your day with an egg white omelet, where you can change up the variety of vegetables, meats, and cheeses so you don’t get bored with it. Or if you don’t have the time in the morning, consider overnight oats, which are great with some fresh berries to top them off in the morning—and these can be eaten on the go!

Incorporate tooth-friendly foods into your New Year’s nutrition goals.

While you are starting small with some little changes you can make into good habits, don’t forget to reach for the right foods to help keep your teeth happy and healthy.

Some of the best snacks for your teeth are fibrous fruits and vegetables, like celery and apples, because they act like nature’s toothbrushes. The fibrous texture of these foods helps to “swipe” away plaque and bacteria that have built up on your teeth. Leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are also tooth-friendly and a dentist’s favorite because the leafy textures promote extra chewing, which can also help to sweep away some bacteria in your mouth. Extra chewing also promotes saliva production, which is important to help offset the pH balance of your mouth.

Other foods that dentists recommend are those rich in calcium, like low-fat cheese and other dairy products. Calcium is a mineral that helps keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy, so it is important to make sure you are getting enough calcium in your diet. If you are lactose intolerant, speak with your doctor about alternative ways to receive more calcium in your body.

Avoid foods that stain your teeth.

If part of your New Year’s resolution is to keep your teeth whiter, you’ll want to avoid foods that can stain your teeth. Foods and drinks that are high in tannins, like red wine, coffee, and tea, are drinks to avoid in large doses because the tannins can stain your teeth and leave them more yellow-looking, even with good brushing habits. If you plan on consuming foods or beverages that can stain your teeth, make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly after consuming those foods and drinks.

Plan and Prep Your Meals

If you have a busy life and are on the go like most of us are these days, meal planning and prepping could become your newest lifesaver. 

By meal planning, you are able to create nutritious meals every day for you and your family, and everyone will know what is for dinner by looking at the meal planning calendar. If you don’t know where to start with meal planning, pick out a few of your family’s favorite recipes to rotate in and out of your meal planning repertoire. Looking for something new to try? Do an internet search for what to make with ingredients you already have on hand. You can also let weekly grocery sales help steer your meals in one direction or another.

Incorporating healthy nutritional habits will boost your oral health and overall well-being.

After you have your meals planned, you can make your life even easier by prepping parts, or even all the meals in advance. Many recipes allow you to make everything ahead of time, and portion them, then refrigerate or freeze the meal to be warmed up at a later date.

To learn more about nutrition ideas that will promote dental health and well-being, schedule a visit with us today. We will be happy to discuss the best food choices for optimal oral health.

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