Best tips for a healthy smile

A healthy smile depends on more than a diet alone. Following these tips will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.

  1. Eat a balanced diet.healthy smile - girl smiling holding a bowl with vegetables
  2. Limit the number of between-meal snacks, when you must snack, choose foods from the food guide pyramid.
  3. Brush thoroughly twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste that has a seal of a dental association.
  4. Floss or use other kinds of interdental cleaners to remove plaque from under the gumline and between the teeth once a day.
  5. Schedule regular dental visits for checkups and professional care.

Diet for a healthy smile

What is a balanced diet?

A balanced diet includes a variety of foods that give your body the nutrients it needs. Protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fat and water make up what is called a balanced diet. To make sure that you get the nutrients you need for a healthy smile, follow the recommendations of the food guide pyramid.

The food guide pyramid provides the foundation for a healthy diet. The guide classifies foods into five major food groups:

  1. Breads, cereals and other grain products.
  2. Fruits
  3. Vegetables
  4. Meat, poultry, fish and alternates
  5. Milk, cheese and yogurt.

Each day you should choose at least the minimum number of serving from each of these groups. Your daily diet should include:

  • 6 to 11 servings of breads, cereals and other grain products
  • 2 to 4 servings of fruit
  • 3 to 5 servings of vegetables
  • 2 to 3 servings of meat, poultry, fish and alternates.
  • 2 to 3 servings of milk, cheese and yogurt.

To get a healthy smile, almost everyone should have at least the minimum number of serving from each group every day. Young children may not need as much food.  

The foods at the tip of the food pyramid’s five major food groups include: 1- fats, such as butter, margarine, oil and salad dressing; 2- alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine; and 3- sweets, such as candy, pastry, syrup, honey and jam. All of these foods provide primarily calories. They are low in nutritional value and may contribute to tooth decay, so they should be eaten in moderation.

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