Food: A guide to a healthy smile
You’ve often heard the phrase “You are what you eat”. But how does that translate to your oral health? We thought we would help shed some light on the benefits of healthy foods and their relationship to your oral health. Not only does a diet that includes high sugars and processed foods have detrimental effects on your overall health but also your oral health too. Find out what constitutes a good diet to keep your teeth and oral hygiene at the top of your game.
Not only are many carbohydrates broken down into simple sugars in the mouth before they reach the digestive tract, but it’s these sugars that react with already present bacteria that begin the decay process in your mouth. Sugars, such as artificial sweeteners or even natural ones found in various fruits and veggies, will increase the acid buildup in your mouth.
Furthermore the increase in sugars will increase the acid production which in turn dissolves minerals in tooth enamel. Not to mention that tooth decay begins inside the tooth enamel when minerals are being lost faster than they are being regained. In order to stop the spread of acid buildup and the loss of enamel, which is your protective layer of tissue for your teeth, the foods you consume will have a either negative or a positive effect.
Foods to avoid
For the most part we suggest avoiding all foods high in sugars, natural or artificial. On the whole try to avoid drinking sugary drinks such as pop, sugar filled fruit juices, and sweet coffees and teas. Snacking on cookies, pastries, pretzels, chips, popcorn, etc. should also be avoided to protect your teeth from further decay and damage. If you chew gum make sure you go with sugar free gum to further prevent problems in your acid buildup. Of course don’t forget acid doesn’t just stick around while you are consuming food as it can linger for up to an hour after you’ve eaten something!
Foods to eat
In particular, unprocessed foods are best. For example, aged cheese eaten immediately after other foods helps buffer the acid in your mouth. Choose fresh healthy food options such as green leafy veggies, cheeses, meats, nuts and seeds. Together with healthy oils such as olive, coconut and avocado oils for all your cooking endeavours. We also suggest drinking plenty of water, unsweetened teas and coffees. All things considered, healthy food equals healthy teeth!
Just as important as eating the right foods, we cannot overemphasize the importance of practicing good oral hygiene. If you do indulge and treat yourself just make sure to brush your teeth as soon as you can. This will decrease the amount of time sugar stays in your mouth.
In the long run, your mouth depends on overall good nutrition to stay healthy. In fact, your mouth is highly sensitive to poor nutrition which can lead to premature tooth loss, serious periodontal (gum) disease and bad breath amongst other health concerns. Our staff at Dental at the Met is here you answer any questions you may have in regards to your oral health. Call us today!