24 Mar 2017 Nutrition and Oral Health
There are a variety of ways to keep your smile in great shape. Regular dental visits, daily brushing and flossing, drinking fluoridated water, and protecting your teeth by using a mouth guard during contact sports and not using your teeth as tools are all important. Adequate nutrition is another important component to a healthy mouth. Conveniently, the foods that make good choices for teeth are also generally good choices overall.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese are naturally low in sugar, making them a great choice for snacks and meals. Dairy products also contain significant levels of protein and calcium, which strengthens teeth.
Fruits and Vegetables are Important
The high fiber and water levels in fruit and vegetables act as natural cleaners. Finishing a meal with fresh fruit or vegetables is great choice if you cannot brush right away. The chewing required for crunchy or cruciferous vegetables also stimulates saliva production, which helps to clean the teeth as well.
Protein Builds Strength
Lean protein choices, such as chicken, eggs, and fish strengthen the teeth. These choices are also high in phosphorus, a mineral important for strong teeth.
Low carbohydrate snacks are a good choice for oral health. Tooth decay is activated by an acid-producing bacteria stimulated by carbohydrates. Protein rich snacks will help you feel full faster, provide energy, and also not increase the risks of developing tooth decay. Nuts are a good snacking choice. In addition to being low in carbohydrates, the process of chewing nuts increases the production of saliva, which lowers the risk of tooth decay.
Just as there are foods that are good for oral health, there are foods that you should avoid if you want to keep your smile looking good. Many of the foods that are not that great for your mouth are not that healthy overall.
Skip the Sugar
Regardless of the form, sugar is bad for your teeth. Cut out soft drinks and hard candies. Unless you perform vigorous exercise, you probably don’t need sports drinks.
Substitute water for beverages and sugar-free chewing gum for hard candies.
Too Much Citrus is Bad
While citrus fruits are healthy, citric acid can eat away at the enamel on your teeth. if you enjoy citrus fruits on a regular basis, or like to add a squeeze of lemon to your water, balance that by consuming plenty of plain water.
Stop Crunching Ice
Just because there is no sugar or carbohydrates in ice, that doesn’t make it harmless. Crunching anything hard, including ice, can damage enamel.
Sticky Foods Damage Teeth
Sticky foods, such as dried fruits, leave residue on your teeth long after your meal is over. If you enjoy snacking on sticky foods, follow up by brushing your teeth, or at least rinsing your mouth with plain water.
Coffee and Tea Cause Problems
Most people are aware that coffee and tea can stain your teeth, but they also affect your oral health in another way. These drinks can dry out your mouth, creating the ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
As with any diet, some days are better than others. Knowing what foods are good for your oral health, and which ones can be detrimental, allows you to make smart choices with your meals and snacks. With a little diligence, these choices will soon become second nature.