Gina Liggio Maestri, DDS

Dental Blog

Surprising Foods That Are Good For Your Teeth

Hannah Johnson - Thursday, February 21, 2019

If you’re like me and used the beginning of 2019 as your trial months and is now ready to start on the journey back to your mindset of “new year, new me”, then you’re in the right place. I feel like year after year we always have the same New Year’s resolutions- get fit, lose weight, go to the gym, etc.- and by the second week of January we have already lost all motivation and adopt the mindset of “happy is healthy, right?” After much self-reflection on what makes me happy and what works and doesn’t work for myself and my body, this month I decided I’m going to get back on track by making small, achievable goals that will eventually lead me to my big, overall goal of maintaining a happy life and healthy lifestyle. My small goal is switching up my eating habits and changing what I eat on a daily basis to foods that are actually good for my body.

Here are six foods that are not only healthy for your body, but also your teeth!

Cheese. If you’re a fellow cheese lover, than I’ve got some good news for you. Eating cheese actually raises a person’s pH levels in their mouths which lowers their risk for tooth decay. The chewing that is required to eat cheese increases the amount of saliva which has chemicals and substances that are good for digestion and keeping your teeth strong. Cheese also consists of calcium and protein which are nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.

Yogurt. Just like cheese, yogurt is also high in calcium and protein, but also has probiotics (the good bacteria), that help benefit your gums by pushing out the bad bacteria surrounding your teeth that causes cavities. If you chose to add more yogurt to your everyday diet, choose plain yogurt and add your own fruit for flavor rather than a flavor that already has fruit and sugar added.

Apples. With a texture that is similar to that of a toothbrush, apples are able to wipe away all the food and bacteria left on your teeth from your meal, giving you a nice clean until you’re able to brush your teeth with actual toothpaste. Apples are also high in fiber and water which produces saliva helping to flush away bad bacteria and remaining food particles.

Celery. Although celery has a bad rap for being tasteless, watery, and full of annoying strings that you can never seem to break, it can also act like a toothbrush. Celery sticks scrape the food particles and bacteria off of your teeth, giving them a little clean. Celery is also a good source of vitamins A and C, which are two antioxidants that stimulate your gums and boost their health.

Salmon. Good for your overall health, as well as your oral health, Salmon is full of vitamin D. This helps your body better absorb calcium and help move that calcium to where your body needs it most. Salmon is a superfood that not only tastes good and is healthy for your body, but it will also help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Strawberries. These little fruity cuties are packed full of good nutrients that protect your heart, cholesterol, and blood pressure as well as provide you with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Strawberries also contain a good type of acid called malic acid, which is a natural teeth whitener for enamel. Although it may seem like they are staining your teeth, they are actually doing the opposite!




How Your Dental Health Affects Your Body

Hannah Johnson - Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ever wondered if your oral health has an effect on your overall health?

Recent studies have shown that there is a connection between your oral health, more specifically gum disease, and your overall body health. Although these studies have not been 100% proven, the chronic conditions that may come from bad oral health should not be overlooked. Some common oral related health concerns are heart disease, diabetes, and everyday medication.

According to Lillian Bensley, PhD, at Washington State Department of Health, 40% of people who have gum disease are more likely to have a chronic condition on top of it. *Your mouth is an open door for bacteria to reside in. The bacteria build up on your teeth can trigger your gums to inflame, and if not controlled, will eventually cause severe gum disease. Unfortunately, gum disease doesn’t just stop at your gums; it can also cause problems for the rest of your body.

Heart Disease

Heart disease and gum disease have been suggested to work hand-in-hand with 91% of patients showing to have both heart and gum disease and 66% of patients just having gum disease. *

Although these numbers aren’t striking, these conditions may result in a heart attack or stroke. Both heart and gum disease have common associations like smoking, unhealthy diets, and excess weight.


The most common condition linked to gum disease is diabetes. If you already have diabetes, there is a high chance that you will develop gum disease in your lifetime, if you do not have it already. Gum disease can also make your diabetes worse. The inflammation weakens your body’s ability to maintain blood sugar, leaving you with insufficient levels of insulin. Diabetes also reduces your body’s fight against infection which explains the common connection with gum disease.

Everyday Medication

Everyday medications like decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants can reduce the amount of saliva your mouth produces. ** Saliva helps wash out left over food particles and helps to equalize acids that produce the bad mouth bacteria. Having too little saliva can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. If you’re taking any of the medications listed above, consistent oral habits will reduce your chances of developing gum disease.

Everyday Oral Health Tips that can help reduce the chances of other health problems:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride based toothpaste
  • Floss daily
  • Maintain a healthy diet with limited snacks
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings
  • Avoid tobacco use

Call our office and make an appointment today @ 337-704-2126 Not only will it help your oral health, but it will also help your overall health!!






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