The foods that you eat don’t just have an effect on your waistline, they can also influence your oral health – for better or worse. So, if you’re working toward optimal health by brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist twice a year, you should also give careful consideration to the kinds of things you’re putting on your fork (and in your glass). Monitoring your diet is a very affordable dentistry intervention to protect your smile’s well-being.
Sugar and Oral Health
Most people probably realize that sugary foods and beverages aren’t a good match for teeth, but you may not know why. Oral bacteria can feed on residual sugars that remain in the mouth after you’ve enjoyed your sweets. Then they’ll have the fuel they need to wreak havoc on your teeth and gums, potentially causing a problem that you might need to have treated at an affordable dentistry practice.
The oral health hazards of sugar are amplified when that sugar is found in sticky substances (such as caramel) that can cling to the teeth afterward or in beverages that wash over the teeth. Therefore, you should be extra diligent about avoiding these substances. If you do drink sugary beverages, use a straw to limit their direct contact with the teeth.
Protecting Tooth Enamel
That can also be a helpful practice for reducing your smile’s exposure to acids, another potentially harmful food and beverage category. Excessive acids can cause the enamel to erode prematurely and send you to your dentist for restorations. Sodas, both regular and diet, tend to be very acidic and should be enjoyed only rarely. Other foods that are otherwise healthy and nutritious, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, can also be problematic. Consult with your dentist to see if you should be limiting your consumption of these items.
So, what foods can you eat to give your smile a boost? Well, general nutrition recommendations will also benefit your teeth and gums. So load up on fruits and veggies that are chock full of minerals, as well as lean protein sources. Dairy products, including milk and cheeses, can also benefit your smile if you can tolerate them.
Do you want to learn more about how your diet affects your smile? Call the office of Dr. Philip Kozlow and talk to one of our knowledgeable staff members about this aspect of your oral health, or be sure to ask any nutrition questions you may have at your next checkup.