What comes to mind when you think about oral health? Chances are that for most people, this means paying attention to flossing, brushing their teeth, and maybe going to the dentist once or twice in a lifetime (*sigh*)
While brushing and flossing are an integral part to ensure healthy teeth and gums, it’s also essential to pay attention to other aspects of your life, such as nutrition. It turns out that just because you can clean your teeth afterward, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter what it is you’re eating on a regular basis.
5 Ways Nutrition Affects Your Oral Health
There are several reasons why good nutrition is an integral part of oral health:
1. Sugar feeds bacteria. Sugar and carbohydrates contribute to the production of plaque acids that cover your teeth. Uncontrolled plaque can result in gum disease, corrosion of tooth enamel, and tooth decay. And before you think, “well, I’ll just brush my teeth right after,” be honest with yourself: How often do you brush your teeth after meals?
2. Nutrients allow your mouth to resist infections. The reason why oral health is so closely related to a person’s overall health is because it’s so easy for bacteria to enter the bloodstream through your mouth. Eating calcium-rich foods, phosphorus, and vitamin C will allow your immune system to resist infection much easier than if you rely on sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.
3. Regular snacking increases the chance for plaque buildup. This is why most dentists recommend avoiding snacking as much as possible. Although it’s true that you can still get acid-causing bacteria on your teeth during regular meals, your mouth produces a larger amount of saliva with them, which helps reduce the amount of acid that sticks to your tooth enamel. If you must snack, opt for healthier choices, such as fruit, raw vegetables, or whole grains. Also, remember to brush your teeth after snacking.
4. Soda erodes tooth enamel on contact. Sodas are both colossally sugary and acidic, which is a noxious combination for tooth enamel. With each sip of soda you drink, you start a damaging reaction that lasts for 20 minutes.
5. Drinking water aids in the supply of saliva. It also cleans your mouth from decay-causing bacteria and strengthens your teeth when it’s fortified with fluoride. Saliva is your mouth’s first line of defense against tooth decay and water helps you produce as much as your body needs to keep your mouth clean.
Contact us at Impeccable Smiles for Dental Cleanings and Care
If you’d like to know more about how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, let us help you! With the proper treatment and guidance, we can improve your oral health and set you on the right track.