Now that swimsuit season is closely approaching, lots of people are looking to lose a few pounds. In order to lose weight, you’ll need to create a caloric deficit and burn more energy that you put into your body. One way to do this is to incorporate more low-calorie foods into your meals each day and get more exercise. When you eat less or change up your diet, it can sometimes affect your teeth. Here are six surefire ways to keep your oral health in tip top shape while you lose weight.
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1. Eat Leafy Green Vegetables
First, consider adding more leafy green vegetables to your diet. Not only are leafy greens low calorie and dense enough to make dieters feel fuller without adding any pounds, but they also help your oral health. Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are packed with fiber. Eating fiber rich foods helps clear your teeth of debris and plaque while you chew.
2. Get Plenty of Calcium
When you cut back on your calories, you may also be tempted to cut back on your servings of dairy foods. Dairy is a great source of calcium, which helps keep your bones and teeth strong. While some dairy items, such as whole milk and cheese, can be high calorie sources of energy, there are some lower calorie dairy items that you could opt for instead. Choose healthy Greek yogurt or skim milk for your cereal to get that calcium back.
3. Chew Sugarless Gum
Between meals, you may want to snack on something that you’ve been craving. Unhealthy snacks can derail your diet and make your progress go away. Instead of sweet or salty snacks, try chewing on a piece of sugarless gum. Dentists, like Dr. George Hatzigiannis, recommend that patients chew sugarless gum after meals when they can’t brush to help clear food particles off of the teeth.
4. Increase Your Water Intake
Drinking lots of water is another great way to get a better waistline and oral health. Experts recommend that women drink nine cups of water and men drink 13 cups. Dentists also want patients to drink more water, especially before and after meals. After you eat your lunch in the afternoon, it’s a good idea to drink a large glass of water to help rinse the mouth and clear any leftover food particles or debris. Not doing so could lead to food getting stuck between the teeth and causing decay or cavities.
5. Choose Nuts and Seeds as Snacks
Additionally, when you do want to have a snack between meals, you need to choose wisely. Avoid the vending machines full of candy and sweets that could mess up your diet or impact your oral health. Before you head out for the day, pack a small snack bag with servings of nuts or seeds. Peanuts, sunflower seeds, or almonds make a great energy boost in the afternoon when you may be feeling hungry and tired.
6. Nibble on Crunchy Vegetables
Lastly, when it’s time to get your daily serving of vegetables, it’s better to go for the raw variety than cooked. Crunchy, raw vegetables give you some texture and variety to your diet. They also help support your oral health by cleansing the teeth a little bit as you chew. Dentists and doctors recommend patients chew on celery, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower vegetables as snacks or lunch options during the day.
As you ready your body for the summer, don’t forget to take care of your teeth. Choose high-quality foods that keep your body supple and strong and help support weight loss. You can also help maintain your perfect smile all year long if you keep your oral health important as well.