4 Tips for Protecting Your Dental Health While Losing Weight
The commitment to a weight loss plan should be applauded on multiple levels. Since being overweight can increase your chances of facing a variety of health problems, many physicians will recommend a weight loss plan to patients on an individual basis. That can provide an opportunity to increase one’s overall health.
If you decide to shed some extra pounds, it’s important to keep your dental health in mind during this time of your life. Eating less and moving more can make a big difference in how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. Lifestyle changes can alter every aspect of your health, including your dental health. Follow these tips to protect your oral health while you lose weight.
Tip #1: Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
A plant-based diet can help you lose weight, and it can offer all the nutrients you need for healthy teeth and gums. While filling up on vegetables can keep you full without extra calories, certain vegetables are especially good for your teeth.
You may want to add the following vegetables to your diet. They do double duty in being a part of a healthy diet that’s both conducive to weight loss and beneficial for your dental health.
Crunchy Vegetables Like Celery, Peppers, Carrots and Cauliflower
Not only are these vegetables low in calories and high in nutrients, they can also help scrape other food particles and plaque away from teeth. That’s because the surfaces of these vegetables naturally and gently glide along the surface of your teeth as you chew, so they act as a natural sort of toothbrush.
What’s not to love about cranberries? Their presence in the form of sauce is an integral part of Thanksgiving celebrations across the country, but it’s not indulgent to chow down on cranberries. Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center revealed that cranberries may help keep bacteria from sticking to teeth and contributing to tooth decay.
There’s a reason why people on juice fasts often reach for juices that are full of vibrant, leafy greens. They have heaps of vitamins and minerals, yet they’re also very low in calories. Kale, spinach and other leafy greens can also help protect your teeth. From the calcium that helps build tooth enamel to the natural vitamins that fight gum disease, leafy greens are a smart choice for weight loss and dental health.
Keep in mind that at least half your plate should be fruit and vegetables. That’s a good rule of thumb when losing weight or eating healthily in general.
Tip #2: Try Sugarless Gum When You Need a Sweet Treat
Sugarless gum can be an ideal sweet treat when you’re trying to lose weight. It offers the sweetness without the calories of sugary bubble gum. Many people don’t realize that sugarless gum is also a good choice for your dental health. Chewing sugarless gum can be beneficial in the following ways:
- All sugarless gum can help prevent tooth decay because it helps remove plaque and the remains of food that may be stuck to your teeth.
- Some sugarless gums contain casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate, which has been shown to help harden tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay.
You don’t have to chew a lot of sugarless gum to reap the rewards. Chewing a piece after dinner can help. Just be sure to still brush your teeth, floss, and swish with mouthwash.
Tip #3: Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water is extremely important for your dental health, and it’s essential to stay well-hydrated when cutting back on calories. Below are some ways that consuming water can be beneficial for your oral health.
- Water helps wash down food particles without the sugars that juices and sodas can leave behind.
- Fluoridated drinking water can strengthen your teeth and prevent decay.
- Drinking plenty of water can help prevent damage from short-term struggles with dry mouth, although the condition should be addressed with your dentist and doctor.
Also, water has no calories, which is a good thing for weight loss, too.
Tip #4: Get Your Sleep
Not only is sleep important for weight loss, it is also beneficial for your dental health. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to put you at an increased risk of gum disease. Your sleep has a direct impact on your oral health. The opposite is true, too. If you have pain because of advanced tooth decay, you may find sleeping well to be difficult or even impossible sometimes.
Finally, keep in mind that seeing your dentist regularly is an important part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums as you continue your weight loss journey. When you are focused on this important aspect of your health, keep your dental health a priority.
Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates offers a wide variety of dental services while giving each person who walks through the door the “five-star treatment.” With optional sedation dentistry for nervous patients, there is no reason to ignore dental cleaning and checkups that play such an important role in your overall health.