Dental Health


Understanding Dental Hygiene & Health

Oral health plays an integral role in your whole body’s well-being. Maintaining a consistent oral health routine is key, but it’s equally important to be aware of factors that can harm your smile and lead to dental issues. For comprehensive guidance on dental care both at home and in our Kalispell, MT, office, reach out to Dr. Dan McAllister at (406) 752-1166.

Healthy Eating & Dental Health

Healthy eating is not just beneficial for your well-being but also plays a significant role in maintaining dental health. The healthiest teeth often coincide with an appealing appearance. However, one of the primary culprits contributing to dental wear and tear is excessive sugar intake. 

Reducing the amount you eat helps keep decay and bacteria from your teeth. While sugar is a key ingredient in many indulgent delicacies, it’s best to consume it in moderation for optimal health.

Foods to Avoid:

Sticky candies, starchy foods that get stuck in your teeth (bread and chips), soft drinks, and energy drinks.

Good Foods:

Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and sugarless gum.


Wine, dark berries, coffee, soda, and tea can all leave dull-colored stains on your teeth. It’s best to enjoy these foods in moderation.

Conditions That Affect Your Dental Health

While your diet plays a significant role in your oral health, multiple medical conditions can affect your smile as well, including:

  • Diabetes: Diabetes reduces your body’s resistance to infection, making gum disease more common.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease: Patients with Alzheimer’s lose their ability to effectively and consciously care for their teeth.
  • Eating Disorders: These disorders limit the nutrients your teeth receive. Additionally, patients who have bulimia (a type of eating disorder) often engage in self-induced vomiting, which frequently covers the teeth in erosive stomach acid.
  • Osteoporosis: This disease causes your bones to become weak and brittle and is linked to tooth loss.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): RA causes severe inflammation that can affect your jaw muscles, which makes opening and closing your mouth difficult.
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome: The inflammation of this condition blocks the salivary glands and causes severe dry mouth, which can lead to cavities.

How to Protect Your Oral Health

The best way to defend your smile from damage is to practice good oral hygiene habits. Strong oral hygiene habits include brushing twice a day and flossing after meals. However, there’s more you can do to protect your smile.

One way to protect and strengthen your teeth is to eat a healthy diet and refrain from snacking between meals. Healthy foods such as leafy greens and nuts act as natural toothbrushes, cleaning the surfaces of your teeth as you chew while providing essential nutrients for your teeth.

Other oral care tips are as follows:

  • Replace your toothbrush every three months. Frayed toothbrush bristles aren’t effective and leave plaque and bacteria on your teeth.
  • Schedule routine visits with Montana Dental Works. Frequent professional cleanings not only enhance oral health but also allow our doctors to detect any potential dental issues early on.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I visit the dentist for check-ups?
Is it normal for my gums to bleed when I brush or floss?
How often should I visit the dentist for check-ups?

It’s recommended to visit the dentist for routine check-ups every six months. These appointments allow for thorough cleanings and examinations, helping to prevent dental issues and catch any problems early on.

Is it normal for my gums to bleed when I brush or floss?

While occasional bleeding gums can be normal, especially if you’ve just started flossing or using a new toothbrush, consistent bleeding is often a sign of gum disease or other oral health issues. It’s crucial to pay attention to any changes in your gum health and consult a dentist if bleeding persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as swelling or tenderness.

Learn More About Dental Health Care with Dr. McAllister

Your smile is one of your greatest assets. That’s why Dr. McAllister and our Montana Dental Works team strive to assist you in preserving your dental health, both during your visits to our Kalispell office and in your personal care routine at home.

Contact us today at (406) 752-1166 or fill out our online form to meet our expert dental staff. We’ll give you all the tools and information you need to maintain your smile for life.