Did you know February marks the beginning of American Heart Month? Across the country medical professionals are trying to raise awareness about heart disease prevention. In American, one out of every three deaths is a result of cardiovascular disease or stroke. Many people don’t realize that a few simple steps can help protect your heart. In today’s blog, Rochester family dentist, Dr. Gill Calcagno, explains how a good diet keeps your smile bright and your heart healthy.
Eating right helps your heart stay strong. With proper nutrition, patients also guard against the formation of cavities. Add fresh fruit and vegetables to your meals. Low in sodium and trans fats, fruits and vegetables provide people with necessary vitamins and minerals. In fact, the CDC highly recommends fruits and vegetables in their guidelines for preventing heart disease. These food items do more than just ensure good heart health. Fruits contain sugar, but the naturally high water content helps prevent sugars from coating the teeth. As a result, fruit allows for an enjoyable, and healthy, snack option for the entire family. Vegetables contain needed doses of minerals that strengthen tooth enamel.
Foods to Avoid
Patients should avoid foods and drinks high in sugars and other starches. The bacteria in our mouths break the sugars left behind by candy and soda. Over time, this process increases the presence of oral acids, which weaken tooth enamel and leave your smile susceptible to tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum can reduce the urge to snack, and also promote saliva production. Saliva is the body’s natural method of cleansing the mouth of food particles and harmful bacteria.
The CDC and health organizations around the world agree that quitting tobacco products protects your heart and your smile. Along with embarrassing yellow stains, smoking leaves your mouth vulnerable to bad breath, gum disease, and increases the risk of oral cancer. Smoking is detrimental to heart health, as well. Over 20% of heart disease-related deaths are due to smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes damages cells that line the blood vessels and increases the heart rate and blood pressure.
Schedule a Visit with Your Rochester Family Dentist
In addition to a good diet, regular checkups and cleanings from your Rochester dentist can help protect your smile. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Calcagno today by calling 507-281-3659. Our 55902 dentist office offers the latest in general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. We serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, and surrounding areas.