Individuals and Families

Prevent Dental Plaque With Brushing and a Healthy Diet

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Dental plaque is a sticky, gritty film that adheres to your teeth. It’s important to keep plaque under control to avoid developing inflamed, bleeding gums and tooth decay. Dental professionals recommend several ways to control plaque:

 

  • brush teeth twice a day and floss daily
  • use an antimicrobial mouth rinse daily to remove food particles and attack bacteria
  • maintain a nutritious diet

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, poor nutrition affects the immune system, which may put people at higher risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease and increase incidences of tooth decay. Researchers discovered some food combinations also may create higher levels of bacteria that contribute to decay, including sticky or soft foods, such as dried fruit, candy and cake. Instead, enjoy healthy snack options including plain yogurt, cheese, raw veggies, nuts or sugarless gum and candy.

For a balanced, nutritious diet, the American Dietetic Association recommends consuming foods from all five major food groups:  breads and cereals; vegetables; fruits; dairy and milk products; and lean meats, such as chicken, beef, fish or beans. And don’t forget to drink water throughout the day to maintain moisture and prevent foods from sticking to tooth surfaces.

Learn more about how food affects your teeth in an article published in The Huffington Post, “Foods for Healthy Teeth: 7 Foods to Eat Right Now.”

 

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