How Nutrition Affects Your Dental Health
We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” A healthy, beautiful, selfie worthy smile is intricately connected to having a good diet and a great dentist (Elevate Dental!) Let’s take a closer look at how certain types of food may affect your teeth.
Sugary Foods: Foods like candy, soda, and sports drinks have a high sugar content. When consuming these foods, you are exposing your teeth to sugar for a prolonged period of time. Sugar feeds plaque bacteria that is naturally present in your mouth. These bacteria produce acids that damage enamel leading to increased cavity formation and tooth decay.
Instead, Try Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and veggies are high in water and fiber which help balance their natural sugar content and also help clean teeth. These foods stimulate the production of saliva which neutralizes acid, protecting teeth from decay.
Many fruits and veggies contain Vitamin C and or Vitamin A. These Vitamins promotes healthy gums and teeth.
Acidic Foods: Foods like citrus are highly acidic and can erode your enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to decay. Acidic foods can also irritate mouth sores.
Instead, Try Dairy or Lean Proteins: Foods, like cheese, milk, plain yogurt, are low in sugar, but contain protein and are full of calcium which helps protect and strengthen tooth enamel. Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are phosphorus and protein-rich. Both compounds help strengthen and protect your teeth.
Caffeinated Drinks: Caffeine is a diuretic and can be dehydrating (and staining!) causing dry mouth. Dry mouth is caused by a reduction in saliva, which increases the likelihood of tooth decay and other oral infections. Many times, our coffees and teas, are laced with lots of sugar. This will have a 3-fold effect: 1) Promote damage to the enamel of our teeth 2) stain our teeth 3) may promote dry mouth
Instead, Try Water: Water helps us stay hydrated which will promote healthy saliva production. Saliva also helps wash harmful acids and food particles away from your teeth. Another helpful tip is to drink water after consuming caffeinated and or sugary drinks. This will help you stay hydrated while removing sugar and stain causing agents from your teeth.
Sticky & Crunchy Foods: Foods like dried fruit and some candies (Caramel, Taffy) stick to your teeth longer and can cause plaque acids. Crunchy foods often contain a high amount of starch and are also likely to get trapped in your teeth leading to plaque build-up
At Elevate Dental, we believe that moderation is key. We are grateful and blessed to live in a vibrant city full of yummy foods and drinks. A healthy, balanced diet alongside seeing your dentist regularly will ensure a beautiful smile for many, many years to come.
Source: American Dental Association (1, 2, 3)