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Supermarket. Paper bag full of healthy food.

Maintain a Healthy Smile With A Healthy Diet During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In times of stress, it’s important that we take care of ourselves and our health in every way that we can to help ourselves and our loved ones stay safe. The last line of defense against COVID-19 is your own immune system, so it’s important to keep your health in tip-top shape.

It’s also true that, when we’re stressed, most of us like to eat, and comfort food can feel especially tempting right now. Unfortunately, cakes and potato chips probably won’t keep you feeling your best whether it’s during a pandemic or not. Sugary food especially can do real damage to you and your children’s dental health.

At WhiteWing Dental, we know that diets play a key role in dental health. Even in times of uncertainty, our number one priority is our clients’ dental health, so we’ve gathered some information explaining how eating habits can affect your dental health. Keeping a balanced diet for your family is vital to maintaining your health during this pandemic.

How Your Diet Can Affect Your Teeth

Be it candy, soda, or pastries, any food that is high in sugar is likely to cause tooth decay and cavities — especially if you’re not maintaining good dental hygiene practices!

When these sugary foods come into contact with your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth begin to convert them into an acidic substance that can spread over your tooth’s enamel. The longer the food is in your mouth before you brush, the longer it has to erode the enamel and damage your teeth.

The weaker your enamel is, the more likely it is that you will develop into cavities and/or gum disease which, if left untreated, can lead to serious health issues. When your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, it becomes much more difficult for your mouth to fight off the acidity eating away the enamel.

These risks are dangerous for adults and children alike, and the last thing any parent needs right now is to have a child develop an oral infection. It’s never more important to take care of your dental health before it becomes a health risk.

Foods and Drinks to Help Keep Smiles Bright

While everything is great in moderation, we would recommend limiting your sugar intake to help keep your teeth healthy. Right now, even just getting to the grocery store can be a challenge, so it’s important to prioritize nutritious foods that will help your family stay healthy during the pandemic. You don’t need to cut out all of your happy foods but maybe look for healthier alternatives.

Some yummy foods to consider for your family’s health-focused diet include:

  • Lean proteins such as lean beef, skinless chicken, and fish.
  • Whole grain products such as quinoa, whole wheat bread, and oats.
  • Fruits and Vegetables such as oranges, apples, tomatoes, and essential greens.
  • Low-fat, fat-free dairy foods, such as cheese and yogurt.

As always, staying hydrated is essential to maintaining your health. Not only does it help your body function, but it also helps rinse leftover food particles out and off of your teeth to help them stay clean.

Practice Essential Dental Tips 

During a viral pandemic, maintaining a clean, sanitary life is absolutely critical. To do our part to help slow the spread of this deadly virus, our offices are currently closed, but our team at WhiteWing Dental would like to encourage you and families across the Rio Grande Valley to continue to practice the dental essentials. Follow these tips to keep your teeth strong and healthy:

  • Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day, and make sure to get every leftover piece of food or plaque.
  • Use American Dental Association-(ADA) approved, antibacterial, non-alcoholic mouthwash to rinse out any leftover bacteria.
  • Limit the number of times you and your children snack throughout the day, and make sure to buy nutritious snacks, and avoid junk food.
  • If getting some physical activity like participating in sports, wear the appropriate safety gear like helmets and mouth guards to make sure you don’t chip your teeth or hurt your jaw.

Stay Home and Eat Well!

By now, most of us have heard the phrase “flatten the curve”. The best way for all of us to contribute to keeping our neighbors and loved ones safe is to avoid going outside and to maintain social distancing anytime you do leave the house. This will help keep everyone safe by keeping you and your family from catching and potentially transmitting the virus unknowingly.

It’s true that right now is a stressful time for families and dental staff alike. Still, maintaining your oral health every day and eating a balanced diet can help keep you and your family’s smiles bright throughout this difficult time. After all, a bright smile can go a long way towards helping us feel a little better when we’re cooped up!

Keep up to date with our latest content and essential dental tips during the shelter-in-place! 

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