Dr Kshama Chandan introduces The Smile Diet; explains how what you eat, drink can give you a healthier smile

Published: 23 March, 2020 15:19 IST | Partnered Content | Mumbai

When it comes to the health of your teeth, "You are what you eat". What you eat not only reflects on your body and overall health but also on your teeth.

Besides how often you eat, or what you choose to eat but also 'when' you eat also affects the general health of teeth and gums.

Eating a balanced diet, limiting in-between-meal snacks, reducing the intake of sugary beverages and substituting them with healthier options is already a step taken in the right direction.

One of the leading dental practitioners of Mumbai, Dr Kshama Chandan lays emphasis on smile diet, where she speaks about the food you must consume for healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.

Dr Kshama believes that a healthy diet has a very positive impact on your mouth and teeth. She says it is very important to replace an unhealthy diet with a healthy one along with maintaining good oral hygiene. In an exclusive conversation with mid-day, Dr Kshama Chandan spills the beans about the importance of a healthy diet for oral hygiene, the food recommended for healthy teeth and much more.

Below are the excerpts from the conversation:

Q: What role does nutrition have on oral health?

A: We all treat our teeth like windows, the better we clean them from the outside, the healthier they will look- of course, that is true but oral health goes way beyond that. Our teeth and gums need to be nourished externally as well as internally. When it comes to the health of our teeth, "We are what we eat".

If our body isn't getting the essential vitamins and minerals, then our teeth and gums do get affected. Oral hygiene maintenance and regular clean-ups are essential, however, eating right is equally important.

Q: How does poor nutrition affect the oral cavity?

A: In India, malnutrition affects 1.3 million people over the age of 65 and leads to many oral diseases, as well as issues like poorly fitting dentures and receding gums. Soreness in the oral cavity leads to poor oral intake, which worsens the underlying cause.

Q: How important is a healthy diet?

A: A healthy diet is extremely important, but we must look at the larger picture. Sleep, hydration, environment and exercise play a crucial part in our general health which in turn affects our oral health. Anything that is good for our general health is good for our oral health too.

Q: What foods are recommended for optimal oral health?

A: Eating a balanced diet, limiting in-between-meal snacks, reducing the intake of sugary beverages and substituting them with healthier options is the key to maintaining optimal oral health. Meat, poultry, fish, milk, broccoli, spinach, oranges, nuts, carrots and eggs help to strengthen teeth. Safe snacks in between meals include nuts, cheese, fresh vegetables and yoghurt. Apples and carrots are high in water and fibre which increases saliva production and reduces the risk of cavities.

Q: What should be avoided?

A: While chocolate, sweets, candies, fruit juices, fizzy pops, alcohol may give you a short burst of energy and satisfy your taste buds but they are packed with ingredients that lead to long-term problems like tooth wear, gum disease, tooth loss, tooth decay as well as wider health problems like diabetes and obesity. Avoiding sugary and acidic food and drinks between meals are important, as the acid and sugar can attack tooth enamel. As part of an overall balanced diet, ensure you eat plenty of greens, lean proteins, nuts and healthy fats, avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates including white bread, pasta and processed meat.

With an MDS in Prosthodontics, Dr Kshama Chanda is running a private practice at The Dental Worx which is located in Lokhandwala and Santacruz (West) in Mumbai.

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