Team Demas April 2019

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IT STARTS WITH YOUR SMILE NUTRITION AS A BUILDING BLOCK FOR ORAL HEALTH

to erode your enamel, resulting in cavities and tooth decay. In addition, sugary, processed foods don’t have a lot of nutritional value, meaning your oral health and overall health suffer. But don’t worry; you have the power to choose what you put in your mouth. By choosing water over soda, carrots over cookies, and making better choices about what you eat, you can help your smile instead of harming it.

As I shared in my previous newsletter, Amy and I have been really focused on our health this year, with nutrition at the top of our minds — and shopping lists. This month, however, I want to focus on someone else's health: yours. Most of you know that a balanced diet is part of a healthy life. But what you eat and drink also plays a big part in your oral health. A big part of what my team and I do is straighten smiles, but we’re also here to help you maintain and improve the health of your teeth and gums. Nutrition is an important building block of oral health, and you need to get the right nutrients to support it. It starts before we’re even born. Foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, like calcium and phosphorous, are passed from the mother to the baby, helping their teeth develop and mineralize. That process continues over the course of a person’s life, from infancy to teen years. Your oral tissues are constantly recycling, and a nutritious diet is one of the best, and easiest, ways to support this process and promote a healthy smile. The good news is that your diet can benefit your oral health. Unfortunately, it can also hurt it. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to dental disease and other issues. Many of the harmful bacteria that are naturally found in the body thrive on sugar, so you can imagine what happens when you eat a lot of it! These bacteria thrive, causing them

If you want to maintain a healthy smile, your diet should include these three characteristics:

• Variety: Get your nutrients from a variety of whole foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and dairy products. • Balance: Find a balance between each of the food groups, emphasizing, fresh, whole foods. • Moderation: Stick to appropriate serving sizes and meals versus continuous snacking. Amy and I have found success in planning what we’re going to eat ahead of time. It helps us avoid the temptation to grab whatever’s at hand. I recommend doing some meal planning over the weekend to make it easier to choose the nutritious options. Try to make a list of meals you’d like to make, then research the ingredients, and make a trip to the grocery store. Online recipes and cookbooks are great places to look for inspiration. If you have chicken and rice, overnight oats, and salads ready to go for the week, it’s going to be easier to ignore the less nutritious options. And I promise you’ll feel better, and more energetic, after eating a nutritious meal. I bet you’ll find yourself smiling more, too! April 7 is World Health Day, a global event dedicated to access to health care. I encourage you to start with your nutrition to see improvements in your health, smile, and beyond. If you need any pointers, I’m here for you. —Dr. Demas

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