Dietary choices have an important impact on one’s oral health.
Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining general physical health. When it comes to oral health specifically, the foods that you choose to eat regularly can have an important impact on the condition of your teeth and gums. Certain foods and drinks, particularly those that are sugary and acidic, can cause some serious damage to your teeth and lead to issues like tooth erosion and decay. Read on to find out more about the connection between nutrition and oral health, and which foods you should avoid for the sake of your smile…
Which foods are detrimental to oral health?
When it comes to maintaining the health of your mouth, teeth and gums, it is advisable to limit your consumption of foods and drinks that contain large amounts of sugar. Sugar is a major contributor to tooth decay — harmful bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar that you eat, which leads to the formation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that attaches to the surface of the teeth, and if left for an extended period, can cause cavities to form. Some of the worst sugary culprits include candy (particularly sticky, hard and sour types) and carbonated drinks that are both sweetened and acidic..
Which foods are good for oral health?
A diet that is rich in nutrients is good for both physical and oral health — try to eat plenty of whole, unprocessed foods for optimal wellness. Try to eat a variety of foods from all of the food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and calcium-rich dairy products.
It’s also a good idea to limit the amount of snacking that you do throughout the day. Every time that you snack, bacteria in your mouth increase the level of acidity in your mouth, which can be harmful to your enamel. For this reason, constant snacking can lead to tooth decay, especially if you graze on sweet treats. If you do need an occasional snack, try to opt for a healthy choice like a small piece of cheese, a raw vegetable, or a crunchy fruit. If you’re craving something sweet, eat it as part of a meal — more saliva is produced during a meal, which helps wash away food particles and reduces the harmful effects of acids in the mouth.
How does oral hygiene help?
No matter what you choose to eat, the importance of proper oral hygiene cannot be stressed enough. Good habits like regular brushing and flossing are key when it comes to removing food particles and harmful bacteria from between the teeth and gum line, and can go a long way in preventing oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease. We recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day.
It’s also essential that you see your dentist for regular check-ups and cleans. It is advisable to have a check-up every six months to prevent any dental problems from becoming serious down the line. A professional clean is also a highly effective way of removing any plaque and hardened tartar from your teeth. Superficial stains caused by food and drinks can also often be removed during a professional clean.
How can we help?
At Somerset Dental Care, we value preventative care and encourage our patients to come in and see us regularly. We offer dental check-ups, professional cleans and fluoride treatments, all of which are designed to maintain our patients’ oral health. Our team is also available to answer any questions related to oral health, hygiene and nutrition.
If you would like to arrange a consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 02 4648 0909 or book an appointment online. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice.