Since March is National Nutrition Month, let’s take a few minutes to think about how we can make a real difference in how we “feed our mouth.” Think about feeding your whole body as eating healthy and nutritionally dense foods that include lean protein, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, complex carbs, and keeping your sugar intake down. But feeding your mouth is mindful eating to help ensure good oral health by keeping your mouth, teeth and gums in tip-top condition.

Think about exercise. You can have a work-out plan for your whole body, and you can also target certain body or muscle groups. Let’s target your mouth, teeth and gums during National Nutrition Month. Because as the saying goes, “You are what you eat!”

A nutritionally-dense, balanced diet can help support healthy pink and firm gums and beautiful pearly whites! I recommend a diet that is not only delicious, but easy to maintain at the same time. Enjoy fist-size servings of lean protein like chicken and beef; wild-caught fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and arctic char; shellfish like lobster, shrimp, crayfish or crabs; fresh, in-season leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach or collard greens; cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and bok choy; whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, brown rice and quinoa, and lots of fruit in season. Keep your sugar intake down, and that means no soda or sugary drinks that you grab on the go. Alcohol also contains a lot of sugar, so keep that in mind when you choose wine, mixed drinks or spritzers, alone or with food. And here’s a sneaky fact. Drinking alcohol can make your body crave carbs and salty foods. Both not so great as far as good nutritional choices, and those foods combined with alcohol, can also pack on extra pounds.

So eat up, eat smart and here’s to your healthy mouth and beautiful smile!

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