Keep that Sweet Tooth Strong and Healthy!

It's that time of year again -- love is in the air and sweet treats are starting to fill the stores.  While you are thinking about those in your life who you love, keep their health in mind!  February is also American Dental Month.  Check out some of the tips below on how to keep your mouth healthy.

Try thinking about foods that promote good dental and oral health.  Nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts help strengthen our immunity and improve our body's ability to fight bacteria, which can help protect your teeth and gums too.
  • Calcium-fortified juices, milk, cheese and other dairy products are rich in calcium and Vitamin D.  These nutrients promote healthy teeth by reducing the risk for cavities.  If you don't like milk or cheese, try adding powdered milk to cooked dishes to get some of the calcium needed to protect teeth and bones. 
  • Raw fruits and vegetables with fiber such as apples, carrots and celery, help clean your teeth and keep your breath fresh.  They give your body great nutrients too!
  • Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and other nutrients are found in fruits and vegetables.  These help protect gums and other tissues from damage and infection.
  • Folic acid and other B vitamins, which are found in green leafy vegetables, promote healthy growth of your teeth and gums.
Once in awhile, we treat ourselves to less healthy sweets. When choosing sweet treats remember these tips:
  • If you are snacking on a sugary treat, be sure to have a healthy drink with it like water, unsweetened tea, or low-fat milk.
  • On days you treat yourself to sweets, remember to skip other sugary foods such as soda or sweetened juices.

Instead of buying candies or store-bought baked goods, try a Low-Sugar Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe for someone special!

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall