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Replace your favorite foods with these healthier options to prevent tooth decay and maintain a bright and healthy smile.
Every dentist will tell you that water is the best beverage choice, but sometimes, you might want a bubbly drink to quench your thirst. Sparkling water has become a popular go-to beverage choice, particularly among young generations. While these drinks boast no added sugar or calories, the carbonic acid in them can damage tooth enamel, the outer layer of your teeth, if it is consumed regularly. While there is far less carbonic acid in sparkling water than soft drinks, plain water is always a healthier option.
If you’d like to add flavor to your water, add a splash of 100% fruit juice. Squeezing a fresh lemon or lime slice can also make a glass of water more flavorful and refreshing. Plus, if you drink fluoridated water regularly, you’ll get the added benefit of fluoride, which naturally fights against cavities.
While ice cream is a great treat for a hot summer day, its high sugar content can be harmful for teeth. Instead, add fruit to plain, nonfat yogurt or choose a sugar-free option for a refreshing treat that does not contain as much sugar as ice cream, and has more calcium to make teeth strong.
For an on-the-go snack you can make at home, try this yogurt parfait recipe — it includes calcium-rich, low-fat yogurt and Vitamin C from strawberries and kiwis, which will help keep teeth and gums strong and prevent inflammation.
People often think that dried fruit is a healthy alternative to fresh fruit — it has a longer shelf life, doesn’t require added sugar and makes for an easy on-the-go snack. Because water is removed from dried fruits, however, sugars become more concentrated. When you eat a handful of dried fruit, you’re actually consuming many more servings of the fruit than you normally would. In addition, dried fruits can stick to teeth and contribute to tooth decay.
Instead, opt for fresh fruit. Some fruits that also benefit your oral health include:
Pasta is a go-to family meal that is easy to turn into leftovers, but it’s high in calories and does not benefit your oral health, either. Pasta contains starches that often get trapped in your teeth.
Instead, try making zoodles (zucchini noodles), and get some oral health benefits in return. Zucchini is almost 95 percent water, which means it helps flush out bacteria from your mouth and cleanse your teeth and gums. Zucchini is also high in vitamin C, which promotes healthy gums. Add some parmesan cheese on top for an additional calcium boost.
We can always work to improve our food choices, and there are easy ways to replace unhealthy meals and snacks with enjoyable, healthier options. These decisions will help prevent oral health problems between dental visits. Still, it’s important to visit the dentist regularly. View our Individual and Family Plans that promote preventive dental care and allow you to visit the dentist more often. Our plans offer three cleanings per year. Our Choice and Choice Plus plans also do not include waiting periods, so members can get the care they need right away.
Need a dentist near home, work or your kids' school? With one of the largest networks in the country, we make it easy to find a dentist who fits your location and your schedule.
*All TruAssure dental plans, other than Basic and Preferred dental plans, are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the United Concordia, DenteMax and Connection dental networks in all states but North Carolina, where the DenteMax Plus network arrangement includes DenteMax and Connection dental networks. TruAssure Basic and Preferred dental plans are offered in association with the DenteMax dental network.
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