Keto Diet

The Keto Diet and Your Teeth

The keto diet is very popular in the diet and wellness world right now. For those of you who aren’t exactly sure what the keto diet involves, it is a low carb, high fat eating system designed to eliminate sugar from your diet. You’d think that anything that involves less sugar in your system would be good for your oral health, but is that the case with the keto diet? Below, we take a closer look at how the keto diet can impact your oral health.

Keto Diet and Oral Health

In short, the keto diet is one that is looked upon favorably by dental professionals, but it may also require some additional attention from the individual. The keto diet is beneficial for your teeth because the diet revolves around the absence of sugar.

With fewer carbs and sugars entering your system, there’s fewer food sources for bacteria to thrive. Studies have shown that the keto diet can lead to less bacteria in your mouth, which can reduce your risk of cavity formation and gum disease.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for your mouth when you dive into the keto diet. One thing many dieters report is the development of what’s known as “keto breath.” Keto breath is oftentimes a byproduct of the beginning, albeit successful, stages of the keto diet. The condition is a temporary side effect that develops because your body is adapting to not needing to use all the ketones that are being produced by the liver. Eventually your body will adapt to this diet change and these ketones will be used as another form of fuel, but for now, their overabundance oftentimes results in a pungent mouth odor.

The bad breath typically lasts between a week and a month, but nobody wants to have bad breath, so you need to be especially conscious about your oral health during this period. Ways to combat keto breath include:

  • Brushing your teeth, gums and tongue regularly
  • Using mouthwash
  • Carrying sugar-free gum or breath mints
  • Increasing your water intake
  • Slowly cut out carbs instead of doing it all at once
  • Reduce stress in other areas of your life, as stress can reduce saliva flow.

If you are cognizant about your oral health while you’re on the keto diet, we’re confident that your teeth and your breath will be better for it. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health before starting a diet regimen, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office. For more information, or to set up your next dental appointment, give our office a call today at (952) 888-2300.

Diet and Teeth

5 Good Foods & Drinks For Your Oral Health

Caring for your teeth is more than just getting regular checkups at the dentist’s office and brushing daily. Those are good starts, but we need to be doing more for our teeth and gums. One way in which we can improve our oral health is by eating certain foods and drinking certain liquids. These five foods and drinks are great for your teeth, gums, and jawbones.


Water is a fantastic substance that holds many benefits for your teeth. For starters, tap water is treated with fluoride, a substance that helps to strengthen our tooth enamel. Just by drinking glasses of water throughout the day, you are helping to protect your teeth against cavities. Water is also beneficial because it can wash away food particles and sugars that can serve to break down tooth enamel, and it doesn’t have high acidity or come packed with sugars like other common drinks often do.


Milk helps to build strong bones, and the calcium in milk will help to strengthen your teeth. Milk is also helpful in helping foster healthy bone growth, which will help keep your jaw in perfect shape. If you’re not the biggest milk fan, look for other dairy products, like cheese, yogurt, or low-fat sour cream.

Lean Proteins

Lean proteins like chicken, fish, and eggs are all packed with phosphorus and proteins essential for tooth development. These foods help to strengthen your teeth and provide them with the nutrients they need to remain healthy throughout your life. Lean proteins should be a focal point of your diet.

Leafy Greens

Leafy green foods like lettuce, kale, broccoli, and spinach are more great options for your teeth. They are often high in fiber, and studies have shown foods high in fiber can help ward off tooth decay and tooth loss. These foods can also help to stimulate saliva production, which helps to remove harmful bacteria and neutralize acids in your mouth.


Go nuts for nuts if you’re interested in helping to protect your teeth and gums. Peanuts, almonds, and other nuts contain proteins and minerals essential for your gum health, and they aren’t loaded with carbs, which can contribute to cavities. Similar to leafy greens, nuts can help to stimulate saliva production, which again helps to stop tooth decay in its tracks.

If you consume these options regularly and continue to brush and floss, we’re confident you’ll have good oral health. For more tips or information, contact our team today.

Diet Dental Health

How Your Diet Affects Your Teeth

When we think of dental hygiene, a lot of people just think about how they protect their teeth with things like brushing, flossing and going to the dentist. However, a total dental hygiene plan is much more than that. There are a number of other ways to protect your teeth other than with dental products, and watching what you eat is a good start. Your diet has an enormous role in how healthy your teeth are, so you need to be cognizant of what you’re eating and drinking.

To give you a better idea of how your diet impacts your oral health, we decided to take a closer look at the ways in which your diet affects the health of your teeth.Y

Food Choices

Food choices are the main way in which you can help or hurt your teeth. Our teeth and jaw bones draw a lot of essential vitamins and minerals from our diet, so if we’re lacking in important nutrients, our teeth may not be as strong as they could be. On the flip side, if you eat too many sugars or carbohydrates, you’ll be creating a great environment in your mouth for cavity causing bacteria to thrive. It’s fine to indulge here or there, but don’t make sugar and carbs your primary food group.

Drink Choices

Along a similar vein, drink choices also can severely impact our oral health. Let’s start with the good. Tap water has been treated with flouride, which is a compound that actively helps to strengthen tooth enamel, which can help prevent against cavities. Aside from flouride, water also helps to remove acids, sugars and other substances off of a tooth’s surface, which helps limit bacteria growth and tooth decay.

If you’re not careful about what you’re drinking, your mouth can be much worse off. Sodas and juices are often packed with sugars that can lead to tooth decay, coffee is a very acidic option that can stain teeth and wear down tooth enamel, and excessive alcohol intake can damage your gums and put you at an elevated risk for some oral cancers. Again, indulging here or there should be fine, but make sure that water is your primary drink of choice each and every day.


The final way in which your diet can impact your oral health is when you eat and when you snack. Snacking throughout the day can provide more sources for bacteria to build on and contribute to tooth decay, so try to limit sweet snacking options throughout the day. Another good idea is to keep a bottle of water handy, because aside from helping limit your cravings, it can help to wash sugars off the surface of your teeth, which is helpful for your oral health. Finally, try to avoid late night snacking, especially after you’ve brushed your teeth. If these substances stay on your teeth through the night, they are going to have hours to break down tooth surfaces and other oral tissues. Snack smart, and your teeth will thank you for it.

So at the end of the day, be cognizant of the foods and liquids you are putting in your system, because they can have a profound effect on your health, and brushing and flossing won’t be able to cancel out bad dietary choices. Eating right and making other smart choices are all part of a total dental hygiene plan. For more tips, or to talk to Dr. Brooks about a tooth issue you’re having, reach out to his clinic today.

Diet in the Womb

Your Diet Affects Your Child’s Teeth In The Womb

You might assume that since your child’s teeth don’t usually come in until around six months of age, that what you put into your body isn’t affecting their teeth until that point, but that’s not true. In fact, a baby’s teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth months of pregnancy, which is why it is so important to make healthy food choices throughout your pregnancy. This way, you’ll be setting your child up for a life full of healthy smiles!

But what should you be reaching for second helpings of, and which foods should you avoid when developing a nutritional plan when you’re pregnant? We answer those questions and more on our blog.

Tips To Follow During Pregnancy To Help Your Child’s Teeth

If you keep these tips in mind each day as your bundle of joy gets closer to their due date, we’re confident that they will be off to a strong start when it comes to their oral health:

  • Variety is key. Eat a variety of healthy foods like vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads, dairy products and fruits.
  • Avoid foods that are high in added sugar, like candy, cookies, sodas and juice. Even some dried fruits like raisins can have higher amounts of natural sugars than expected, so just keep an eye on the sugar count when eating and snacking.
  • When snacking, look for foods like vegetables, fruits, cheeses and unsweetened yogurts, and again, watch the sugar count.
  • Get an ample supply of certain nutrients, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, protein, calcium and phosphorus.
  • Opt for water when possible over soda and juice, and drink it throughout the day to help keep you hydrated.
  • Daily intake of 600 micrograms of folic acid has been linked with a reduction in birth defects, so you can either take it as a supplement, or get in naturally in foods like asparagus, broccoli, dark leafy vegetables, beans, oranges, strawberries, bananas, and grains fortified with folic acid.

Minnesota Dentist

Keeping these tips in mind, visiting a pediatrician as your child continues to grow and scheduling dental appointments for your kid at the appropriate age will all help their teeth get off to a great start. For more information about creating a nutritional plan during your pregnancy, or to schedule your child’s first dental visit (first visit by their first birthday!), contact Dr. Brooks’ office today.

Teeth Nutrition

Creating A Nutritional Plan To Protect Your Teeth

Your diet is a crucial part of your dental care plan that often gets overlooked. In general, people do a good job about brushing their teeth on a regular basis, but if we can be more cognizant of how our diet affects our mouth, we can better care for our teeth between brushes. Below, we take a closer look at how certain foods can affect our teeth, and how to protect your teeth with a well-rounded nutritional plan.

Your Diet and Your Teeth

What we eat first has to pass our teeth and gums, and certain foods can do more damage than others. For example, sugary foods, even fruits with natural sugars like apples and oranges, can cause problems with your teeth and gums. Also, since these foods have higher acid concentrations, they can also wear down your tooth enamel.

Now, that’s not to say that you should avoid sweet fruits because Vitamin C is beneficial for healthy teeth, but you just have to be smart about eating these options. For example, if you’re going to eat fruit, consider eating it alongside other foods so that the sugar and acid gets worked off your teeth by these other foods. Also, regardless of whether you’re snacking on fruit or having it alongside a main course, drink plenty of water to wash away sugars that may have been left behind.

What other things should you consider when creating a nutritional plan that will protect your teeth? Here are some quick tips:

  • Avoid sugary sodas and juices. Instead, opt for water that has been fortified with fluoride.
  • Limit the amount of natural and added sugars you consume on a daily basis, as extra sugar can contribute to the onset of cavities.
  • Sticky options, like fruit snacks or raisins, should be avoided on their own, as they have a propensity to stick to your teeth, and stuck on sugars can wear down teeth even faster.
  • Get plenty of vegetables, fruits, and dairy in your diet, as these can all strengthen your dental health.
  • Even if you can’t feel food particles between your teeth, consider flossing at least once a day, although twice a day after eating is even better!
  • Set a good example for your kids. If you choose healthy dental options, they are more likely to follow suit, which will help their mouth stay healthy.
  • Brush your teeth before breakfast, and brush again after dinner for at least two minutes each time to help keep your teeth protected throughout the day and night.

Preventive Dental Care in MN

Having good oral health isn’t just about brushing, it also involves your daily diet. If you still have questions on how to make your dental health a priority when making nutritional choices, or if you want to run something by Dr. Brooks, don’t hesitate to reach out to his office for more information today!

Diet & Dental Health

How Your Diet Affects Your Dental Health

What you eat plays a huge role in your overall health, but your weight and cholesterol aren’t the only things affected by your dietary choices. Your teeth help to get the eating process started, but they can also be affected by the types of food you are eating. Here’s a closer look at why you should reconsider what types of food you are putting in your mouth.

Sugar and Your Teeth

Sugar makes its way into a lot of the foods we eat, which is why we need to pay close attention to how much sugar we consume on a daily basis. The FDA recommends that individuals over the age of three consume no more than 50 grams of sugar a day, but many teens and adults cruise past that threshold on a regular basis.

One reason why sugar is bad for your oral health is because it helps to spur bacteria production. Bacteria use carbohydrates and other simple sugars as a nutrition source, so when you have more in your diet, you are making it easier for bacteria to thrive and break down your teeth.

We get plenty of sugar in our diet from foods like donuts, cookies, ice cream and chocolate, but there’s one culprit that is especially damaging to our teeth – soda. Soda is packed with sugar or sugar substitutes that facilitate bacteria growth, and because it is in liquid form, these sugars can easily make their way between teeth or in hard to reach places. Individuals who drink soda on a regular basis are at a much higher risk for developing cavities or dental problems than those who stick to water or tea. This includes diet sodas that are sugar free, because they use sugar substitutes like aspartame that can also break down enamel and weaken teeth.

Diet Tips To Remember

When it comes to protecting your teeth by choosing a healthy diet, keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid sugar-dense or carbohydrate-dense foods in large doses.
  • Swap out soda and juice for water or tea.
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime, as this can contribute to acid reflux.
  • Add plenty of vegetables and fruits to your diet, but avoid eating overly acidic options like tomatoes and oranges as a stand alone snack.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and consider other oral health options like flossing and mouthwash.
  • Get plenty of calcium and protein-rich foods that help to strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Ask your dentist about any questions you have pertaining to your diet or your dental health.

At the end of the day, if you limit your sugar consumption, get a variety of options from the food pyramid on a daily basis and you regularly brush and floss, we’re confident that your diet will help to nurture your oral health. If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment, give Dr. Brooks’ clinic a call today.

Diet for Tooth Enamel

4 Foods that Strengthen Tooth Enamel

As we’ve discussed before, some foods and liquids can actively damage your teeth by attacking the enamel and causing cavities. But there are also foods that can work to strengthen your tooth enamel. In this article, we are going to offer some tips for strengthening your tooth enamel by changing your diet.


The old adage – “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” should be amended to “an apple a day keeps the dentist away.” Apples are high in fiber and water. More importantly, the physical act of eating an apple has benefits for your teeth and gums. Biting into an apple produces saliva, and the fibrous texture can help scrub and rinse your mouth.


Teeth love calcium and yogurt is full of it. Yogurt is also chock full of probiotics – which can benefit your gums by crowding out bad bacteria.


Almonds are high in protein and calcium, while simultaneously being low in sugar – which is a great combination for healthy teeth.


Cheese is another great source of calcium, protein, and nutrients that can strengthen your teeth. Eating cheese also produces a lot of saliva, which helps rinse bacteria out of your mouth before it has a chance to turn into plaque.

Minnesota Dental Clinic

Dr. Tim Brooks is a skilled cosmetic and family dentist who has been treating individuals throughout the Twin Cities for years. With a team of experienced hygienists by his side, Dr. Brooks offers professional and compassionate care to each and every patient that walks through his doors. If you are looking for a dentist in Bloomington, Farmington, or the surrounding areas – don’t hesitate to contact Smiles for Life. Call us today to set up an appointment at our Bloomington Smiles for Life Dental Clinic.

Diet Dental Health

Preventing Dental Problems with the Right Diet

Your diet has a direct impact on your overall health, as well as your dental health. Making small adjustments to your diet can help prevent dental problems and  lead to huge improvements in your oral health. In this article, we’re going to offer a few tips for preventing dental problems with the right diet.

Avoid Excess Sugar

Excessive sugar intake is one of the quickest ways to the dentist’s chair. Sugar can turn to plaque and eat away at your teeth enamel – eventually leading to cavities. Try to avoid or cut down on your intake of sugary beverages, candy, and other junk food. Your teeth will thank you for it!

Get Plenty of Calcium & Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are essential elements of building strong teeth and keeping them strong. This is especially important for children, whose teeth are still developing.

Cut Down on Your Alcohol Consumption

Reducing your alcohol intake is good for your dental health as well as your overall health. Drinking excessive amounts alcohol (particularly red wine) can stain and yellow your teeth at an unnatural rate. Most alcoholic beverages also contain a lot of sugar, which can be damaging to the teeth.

Find a Dentist in Farmington, MN

If you are suffering from tooth pain or another dental issue, contact Smiles for Life at one of our Minnesota dental clinics. Dr. Tim Brooks and his team of highly skilled hygienists are well equipped to provide you with the best possible dental care. With decades of experience, Dr. Brooks has the knowledge and expertise to provide you with excellent oral health care. With clinics in Farmington and Bloomington, we are conveniently located to serve clients throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. Contact us today to set up your appointment with Dr. Brooks and start smiling wider!