February 7, 2020
A balanced diet is good for your whole body—including your mouth! In fact, when it comes to your oral health, what you eat impacts more than just your risk of tooth decay. Eating more smile-friendly foods and less cavity-causing snacks could protect your teeth from breaking, help your gums fight against gum disease, and even help your smile shine brighter. Read on for dentist-approved tips for eating your way to better oral health.
How Sugar Impacts Your Smile
Did you know that nearly all food contains some amount of sugar? That even includes healthy foods like milk, vegetables, and fruits. Your mouth naturally contains various types of bacteria that feed on the sugars in the foods you eat. Bad bacteria use this sugar to create harmful acids and encourage bacterial infections.
The acids can destroy your enamel, which weakens your teeth and reduces their protective outer layer. If the sensitive inner chambers of your teeth are breached, the tooth pulp and nerve become susceptible to infection. A bacterial infection can also attack your gum tissue, which is known as gum disease. Left untreated, this common condition can cause permanent damage and tooth loss.
Best Smile-Friendly Foods
Normally, great oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are enough to protect your smile and keep the bad bacteria in check. However, aside from cutting back on sugary snacks, you can improve your oral health by eating:
- Calcium-rich foods: When you eat foods like cheese, milk, and yogurt, your saliva can use the calcium they contain to help rebuild your enamel. This lowers your risk of tooth decay as well as damage like chips or cracks. Calcium can also be found in non-dairy foods like sweet potatoes, leafy greens, almonds, and canned fish.
- Snacks containing vitamin C: Vitamin C boosts your immune system and helps fight off infection throughout your body, including your mouth and gums. This important nutrient is essential to keeping your gum tissues healthy and combating gum disease.
- High-fiber foods: Crunchy raw vegetables and fruits like carrots, celery, and apples can help reduce your chances of cavities. They gently scrub away plaque from your teeth as you chew them and encourage the production of saliva, which rinses away lingering food particles.
More Tips for A Healthy Mouth
How you eat is almost as important as what you eat. To make the most out of your smile-friendly diet, follow these simple tips:
- Limit how much you snack throughout the day.
- Drink more tap water, which often contains fluoride.
- Use mouthwash and dental floss daily alongside brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day.
Remember, what you eat plays a key role in your oral health. Use these tips alongside regular visits to your dentist to keep your smile happy and healthy for years to come!
About the Author
At Parkway Vista Dental in Plano, TX, we want to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. Dr. Bita Kamali is dedicated to providing you with excellent in-office care as well as practical at-home oral hygiene tips, which is why she encourages all her patients to get a dental checkup every six months. So if you have any more questions about what to eat for better oral health, feel free to contact her via her website or (972) 818-1300.