Dental health doesn’t have to be hard. Just brushing in the morning and evening and flossing every day will get you a long way toward having perfect teeth for life. Add in regular dental checkups and you’re even closer. But you can also make a few easy swaps in your diet to improve your oral health.

Swap Sport Drinks for Water

The Problem: We know it’s summer, which means that your regular jog or bike ride makes you more thirsty these days. But think twice before you reach for that sports drink. Sports drinks are, on the whole, very acidic. And the sugars they contain fuel oral bacteria just as much as (if not more than) they fuel you.

The Solution: Water is still the overall best thirst quencher. You just have to make sure that you’re not overhydrating, which is becoming an increasing problem. Drink when you’re thirsty. If you are hydrated before you exercise, this should be enough to keep you going. And if you’re concerned about electrolyte loss with a long workout session, supplement with salt pills. These can give you the electrolytes you need without the added sugar or acid.

Add Milk to Your Morning Coffee or Tea

The Problem: We all need a little jolt to get going in the morning (and sometimes the afternoon, though this could signal a problem). And, hey, coffee is good for your teeth, right? Sort of. While coffee and tea both have oral health benefits, they also have a drawback: tooth staining.

The Solution: If you are looking to extend the time between teeth whitening sessions, add milk to your coffee or tea. Milk dramatically reduces the staining tea causes on your teeth.

Go Nuts and Ditch Chips

The Problem: You may not fall prey to the afternoon caffeine cravings, but what about those crunchy carb snacks as your energy dips? Oral bacteria love chips and other carbohydrate-rich afternoon snacks. They love the way these chips stick to your teeth and give them a prolonged source of energy.

The Solution: Know what else is crunchy and salty? Nuts. Nuts can help satisfy your cravings without setting off a feeding frenzy among oral bacteria. The protein and fats (don’t worry, they’re good fats) in nuts are harder for oral bacteria to digest. They also stay in your stomach longer, so you’re less tempted to go for a second snack before dinner.

Don’t Finish Sweet

The Problem: When you eat dessert last, the sugary residue can linger on your teeth for hours, especially if your dessert has caramel or other sticky sugary treats.

The Solution: Finish with something that helps clean your teeth. Especially good is a crunchy raw vegetable like carrots or celery. This will remove sticky residue from your teeth so that oral bacteria have less to feed on.

Beer Might Be Better Than Wine

The Problem: Unlike headaches, wine is justifiably to blame for some potential oral health problems. Although wine does have some protective influence on your gums, the acid of wine can be damaging, and red wine can be badly staining.

The Solution: Beer is good for your teeth. It’s not only less acidic, but it contains many great nutrients for your teeth.

It’s easy to maintain your oral health, especially if you have a dentist who cares about you. If you are looking for a Rancho Mirage dentist, please call (760) 832-7915 for an appointment at Country Club Dentistry today.