Nutrition Is An Integral Part Of Oral Health

smiling-toothA report published in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that nutrition is vital to a persons oral health and therefore to their overall health. For this reason, it is recommended that collaboration between oral health care professionals and registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians exists to promote oral health, disease prevention and intervention.

The paper Oral Health and Nutrition supports the academys position that nutrition assessment is essential for identifying dietary intake and nutritional factors that may affect a persons oral health. Dentists as well as health care professionals should address the importance of food choices to help ensure optimal oral health by explaining how oral health status can affect the patients food intake. Dentists are encouraged to also educate their patients about the important aspects of nutritional health that lead to oral health.

Dentists should tell their patients the following:

  • Seeking guidance from registered dietitian nutritionists about healthy food choices and regular oral health care can help improve nutritional and oral health status.

  • Consuming fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt without added sugar helps reduce an individuals risk of cavities.

  • Consuming fewer sugar-sweetened beverages soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks may also decrease a persons risk of dental erosion and cavities.

  • Consuming fewer foods that are high in acid fruit juices, pickled foods, sour candies, citrus fruits, wine may decrease an individuals risk of dental erosion and cavities.

The multifaceted interactions between diet, nutrition and oral health in practice, education, and research in both dentistry and dietetics merit collaborative efforts to ensure comprehensive care for patients and clients, says the reports authors.

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