Diet and Dental Health: A Surprising Link
Did you know that your food contributes significantly to your oral health? Most people don’t realize this until they find themselves in the dentist’s chair because of toothache or dental cavities. That goes to show how privy this information can be, at least to the majority of people.
Beyond the misinformation, there’s also the confusion that comes with realizing this pretty late. Like, “What am I supposed to eat?” We get this question all the time. In this post, we answer this question and explore the link between diet and dental and dental health in great detail.
The Role of Nutrients in Maintaining Healthy Teeth
Maintaining healthy teeth goes beyond regular brushing and flossing. What you consume and how you consume them are also important indicators. Your diet must include essential nutrients for strong teeth and gums.
Vitamins play a significant role in promoting oral health, sheathing you from several gum issues.
- Vitamin C strengthens blood vessels and connective tissues in your gums, reducing the risk of gum disease. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens and bell peppers.
- Vitamin D aids in absorbing calcium, an essential mineral for tooth enamel strength. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium and vitamin D
- B vitamins support gum tissue health and prevent mouth sores. Familiar sources of B vitamins are lean meats, fish, eggs, legumes, whole grains and nuts.
Minerals should also be a vital component of your diet to maintain healthy teeth. Minerals like calcium are essential in building strong bones and teeth. They help strengthen the tooth enamel, making it more decay-resistant. With calcium, phosphorus promotes the remineralization of tooth enamel and maintains dental health.
Remineralization is your body’s replacement of depleted minerals to prevent cavities from forming. Loss of minerals is typically due to bacterial infection of the gums and insufficient saliva production.
When you incorporate foods rich in these nutrients into your diet, you give your dental health the needed boost it deserves.
Foods That Are Bad for Your Teeth
One of the main contributors to tooth decay is consuming sugary snacks and drinks. Such foods include candies, cookies, sodas and fruit juices. They contain high levels of sugar, which are food sources for bacteria. The effects of sugars are plaque formation and tooth decay.
Another group of foods to watch out for are acidic foods and beverages. They destroy your tooth enamel over time. This weakens the teeth’s protective layer and increases the risk of cavities.
You should also be wary of teeth-staining foods like coffee, tea and red wine. Berries leave stains on your teeth over time and should be taken in small quantities. Regularly drinking or eating any of these can discolor your teeth, and you require professional dental treatments for whitening.
Eating Habits That Promote Good Oral Health
Your eating habits can determine the outcome of your oral health. Taking what you eat and how you eat is the first step to having healthy teeth and gums. Instead of doing away with snacks, choose tooth-friendly snacks.
Snacks in this category are those low in sugar and high in nutrients. That way, your teeth are protected without the additional risks of possible tooth decay. Excellent choices include fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cheese. They provide all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for optimal teeth health.
Chew sugar-free gum after meals. Gum offers a two-tone effect:
- It stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away food particles
- It neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth
These effects are necessary for sugar cavity treatment and maintaining a fresh breath.
Another great habit that is often overlooked is drinking sufficient water. Staying hydrated and regularly drinking water washes down food particles and bacteria that can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay. It also plays a vital role in reducing enamel erosion as it helps to neutralize acids in the mouth and prevent gum diseases.
Rather than rely on sugary hydrants and acidic beverages, drink water. This ensures that your saliva is authentic throughout most parts of the day, reducing the risk of your teeth actively losing minerals.
When you incorporate these habits into your daily routine, your chances of better oral health significantly increase. However, remember these habits complement regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.
Rediscover the Power of a Healthy Smile With Dentist in Mentor OH
Before you google “dentist near me,” you should begin to practice these habits and shake up your diet composition. It is easier than it looks. Remember the significance of a balanced diet for our dental health and adopt these practices.
It’s never too late to strive for healthier gums and teeth. At Great Lakes Dental, we understand that your overall health and diet connect to your oral health. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.