What Your Diet Does to Your Teeth
We all know the phrase “you are what you eat”. This is especially true when it comes to your dental health. Your oral health is determined as much by what you eat as how you care for your teeth and gums. That’s why we offer a dietary counseling service to our patients: to help you understand how diet affects your teeth and how you could improve the health of your teeth and gums by adjusting your diet. Here are a few culinary culprits and benefactors that will make a noticeable difference in your dental health right away:
Stay Away From
Sticky Snacks: These can be a nightmare for your mouth. Obvious examples are gummy candies, caramel chews or taffy, but many patients forget that even popular dried fruits like pineapple and mango can get caught on or between teeth, causing decay if left for long.
Hard Candy: Though this type of candy doesn’t stick as easily as chewy candy, it produces a harmful environment by coating the mouth with sugar for several minutes at a time. This gives bacteria a chance to produce harmful acids.
Sugary Drinks: Soda is the obvious offender in this category due to its high sugar content, but most people don’t realize there are many sugars in sports drinks, some sweet coffee drinks, and wines. You can also make a difference here by watching how much sugar you add to homebrewed coffee and tea.
Make Sure You’re Getting
Water: It may sound basic, but water helps your teeth and gum health on multiple fronts. It rinses sugars and acids from teeth and keeps your body from being dehydrated (which can lead to dry mouth and bleeding gums). Even better, fluoride, which helps prevent tooth erosion, is found naturally in water.
Calcium-Rich Foods: Dairy and other calcium-rich foods (such as soybeans, dark leafy greens, and enriched bread) promote good dental health by strengthening, stabilizing and repairing tooth enamel.
Crunchy Vegetables: Consider eating a bunch of crunchy fiber-rich veggies (celery or romaine lettuce, for example) like driving through a car wash for your teeth. They are low in sugar and produce a lot of saliva when chewed, which rinses teeth, while the veggies themselves scrub the teeth. Just don’t forget to floss afterward!