Dieting For A Better Smile? Understanding How What You Eat Affects Your Oral Health
Oral health and diet have a symbiotic relationship. The food we eat has a great influence on the health of our teeth and gums, just as the strength and health of our mouth has a direct impact on the foods we can eat. Many studies have shown that good oral health cannot be ensured or maintained by great oral hygiene alone. The diet we maintain is also a key factor in ensuring strong, ongoing oral hygiene.
There are strong ties between oral health issues like cavities and tooth decay and the foods that we consume. These correlations are extremely important, as tooth decay is the most common disease around the world.
Foods that Negatively Impact Oral Health
Your mouth is filled with minerals, good bacteria, teeth and other tissues that work to break down food, drink, breathe and even speak. The foods we eat and drink may be what keep us energized, but they also do some of the greatest damage to our teeth and gums.
Studies have shown that acidic and sugary foods are the most harmful to our oral health. Bad bacteria that grows in our mouths, called plaque, feeds on the food particles that remain in our teeth after meals. Plaque particularly reacts to sugar.
Once plaque begins to build, it latches onto the tooth as a host and forms a cavity. Enamel – the protective film on our teeth – is worn away by the plaque and can lead to further tooth decay and rot. In addition, acidic foods such as citrus, dried fruit and tomatoes can directly erode teeth if not consumed in moderation.
For any and all foods and beverages, moderation is the key. This isn’t to say that we need to completely cut out sugary drinks and sweets. Rather, we need to ensure that we consume sugar in moderate amounts, while taking steps to protect our teeth in the process.
The most harmful factor to the equation of tooth decaying foods is how often you indulge in them. The World Health Organization recommends that only 10% or less of your total energy intake come from sugar. Studies have noticed that consuming more than this suggested amount will increase pH levels in your mouth, promoting cavities and other oral health issues.
Here is a short list of foods and drinks to limit your consumption of:
- Hard and sticky candies
- Soft drinks
- Sugary gum
- Dried fruit (like raisins)
- Drinks contain natural citrus flavoring (like lemonade)
Do you want brighter, whiter teeth? Most men and women notice their teeth dull as the years go by. But foods, drinks, and even mouthwashes can stain teeth at any age.
Foods That Positively Impact Your Oral Health
An oral health conscious diet isn’t so much about what to avoid. There are plenty of foods and beverages that strengthen your enamel and gums. Teeth are strengthened by calcium, which means dairy products like cheese and milk are very advantageous when it comes to your oral health.
In addition, Vitamin D is a powerful guard against cavities. Vitamin D assists in your body’s regulation and metabolization of calcium and has been observed to decrease the risk of tooth decay.
Here is a list of foods and drinks that can encourage your oral health and strengthen your teeth:
- Calcium enriched products
- Black and Green Tea (unsweetened)
- High in fiber fruits and vegetables
- Products enriched with fluoride
Essentials to Healthier Teeth
If you are concerned about your oral health, keep these essentials in mind.
- Take care of your teeth: Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day.
- Limit your sugar consumption.
- Drink lots of water: Staying hydrated supports your saliva production which is your body’s natural bacteria fighting cleanser.
- See your dentist regularly.
To make sure your mouth is nice and healthy, schedule an appointment with Summer Dental, Las Vegas. Our team of dentists and dental specialists will be able to diagnose any oral health concerns and help you plan your diet to ensure healthier teeth. Same day appointments are available today by calling (702) 852-2829. whitening products like kits, strips, or toothpaste may slightly lighten stains, but for a truly remarkable smile, visit our office!