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How “Eating Clean” & the DASH Diet Help Promote Optimal Oral Health

Posted on February 21, 2012 | in Dental Care, Oral Systemic Dentistry | by

We are what we eat, this we know; but that doesn’t stop us from chowing down on a Big Mac® or super sizing those large fries once in a while.

It is only once in a while?

Everything in moderation…another cliché we’ve had forced down our throats since childhood.

But does that go for Twinkies® and Ho Hos® too?

With the recent release of a new public health video courtesy of the Mayo Clinic, we thought it at the very least, mildly entertaining…to entertain the connection between eating clean, the DASH diet, and our own optimal oral health.

Here’s the Mayo Clinic video outlining the dietary debate:

Are the connections between eating healthy and having healthy teeth and gums coming into focus?

Check out this cavity creep fodder, and then stay away from these sweet culprits to reduce harmful acids that destroy our teeth:

Sugary candies and sweets that stick in your mouth: If you eat sweets, go for those that clear out of your mouth quickly. So thumbs down for lollipops, caramels, and cough drops that contain refined sugar.
Starchy carbohydrates that can get stuck in your teeth: Starches, which are complex carbohydrates, can also linger in your mouth.
Carbonated soft drinks: Besides being laden with sugar, most soft drinks contain phosphoric and citric acids that erode tooth enamel.
Fruit juice: Go for the whole fruits with lots of fiber and less sugar. Juices sometimes have added sugar, so they are more damaging to your teeth than the natural sugar in whole fruits.

If you eat sweets, it’s best to eat them as dessert after a main meal instead of several times a day between meals. Whenever you eat sweets—in any meal or snack—brush your teeth well with a fluoride toothpaste afterward.

Here are 3 Ways Eating Clean & the DASH Diet Help Promote Optimal Oral Health

1. Eating healthier means more fruits, vegetable, and fiber – all good for naturally cleaning our teeth & gums.

2. Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researchers found the human body is better at fighting gum disease when fat cells, which trigger inflammation, disappear.

3. Less starches, sugars, preservatives, & derivatives equal an unfriendly environment, unwelcoming at the least to the average creeping carie inducing connivers.

These purely perceived partnerships between eating healthy and oral health doesn’t mean if we go out and dive into the next fad diet, we no longer need to go see our trusted friendly neighborhood dentist.

A new paradigm between dentistry and medicine is now developing regarding patient care.

As the oral systemic connection becomes more clearly understood, dentists who are trained in diagnosing oral & periodontal disease will play a greater role in the overall health of their patients.

We’re the lucky recipients of all this oral and overall health improvement – but we need to eat right, and see the dentist regularly!

Whether your generation is Nurse Cratchett, Ms. Crabtree, or more like…Mis understood…many times, the first signs of unnatural systemic health conditions reveal themselves in changes within the oral cavity.

Any more ideas on how eating clean or diving into the DASH diet can help our teeth & gums?

Don’t just take our less than influential word for it, check it out yourself:

“Snack Smart for Healthy Teeth.” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Accessed 2009.

“Nutrition.” Academy of General Dentistry. Accessed 2008.

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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  1. […] mention oral cancer screenings. 2. Save money at the dentist by brushing and flossing everyday. 3. Eat cleaner and reduce intake of sugary (and even starchy) foods and/or drinks & save more money on dental […]

  2. […] mention oral cancer screenings. 2. Save money at the dentist by brushing and flossing everyday. 3. Eat cleaner and reduce intake of sugary (and even starchy) foods and/or drinks & save more money on dental […]

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