In the daily hustle and bustle and life, it's easy to forget just HOW MUCH your overall health, let alone your oral health, is influenced by what you eat.
Two very common dental issues, tooth decay (caries) and periodontal gum disease, can be easily impacted, treated, and managed by diet.
Bacteria occur naturally in the mouth, but when too much sugar or starch is consumed, acids are created that directly attack tooth enamel. These acids contribute to the breakdown of healthy teeth and gums, leading to decay and gum disease.
The dangers to tooth and gum health from a sugary diet are widely known. However, it's important to note that excessive citrus intake, high alcohol consumption and too much salt can also be damaging to your oral health.
Brushing and flossing isn’t always enough to maintain great oral health. It is important to eat a well-balanced diet heavy in vitamins and minerals and low in fat, sugar, and acids to maintain a healthy mouth.
Although developing good oral hygiene habits plays a huge role in the health of your mouth, what you eat can often make or break your success in preventing and treating decay. On top of that, poor nutrition can lower your immune response and cause harm to your cardiovascular health.
A great way to prevent tooth decay is to practice eating in moderation. The golden rule! Fully depriving yourself of traditional "fun foods", like birthday cake, chips, pretzels and party snacks, your grandma's famous lemon squares is just not necessary. Once again, everything in moderation. The occasional treat isn't a crime.
Balance is key. By incorporating whole foods from all five major food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and protein (meat, fish or beans) – you can maintain healthy vitamin and mineral levels needed to keep your oral health in great shape.
We recommend a diet rich in calcium, riboflavin, vitamins B12 and D, and complete proteins, as the body requires high levels of these components in order to prevent tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
For more information and resources about the connection between diet and oral health, don't hesitate to reach out — we're always happy to answer your questions!
As always, make sure to brush and floss after meals to remove any leftover food residue!
Generally speaking, if you follow your dentist's recommendations for healthy foods for your child’s overall health, those recommendations will also encompass oral health.
Stay away from high-fat, high-sugar snacks, as these will not only wreak havoc with your child’s energy levels, but also developing teeth. Snacks that are too starchy – such as breads or cookies – are fine in moderation, but break down into sugars once eaten and develop plaque.
The best options include raw vegetables, fresh fruit, or whole-grain crackers, since these break down slowly and help protect against tooth decay and gum disease. Some nutritious combinations are listed below. Children should also brush with fluoride toothpaste after any snacks or meals.
Snack Ideas from your family dentist:
When preparing a snack or meal, be sure to incorporate as many food groups as possible to ensure a high-vitamin, nutritious treat.
Oral health is part of overall health animation
I’m happy to meet with you for a consultation to discuss the best way to keep your teeth – and your family’s teeth – happy and healthy through proper nutrition. I have been working with patients for more than twenty years to improve their oral health through a combination of holistic and dental practices.
By incorporating a healthy diet and regular dental visits as part of your normal routine, you’ll find yourself feeling healthier than ever.
To find out more about how you can protect your teeth, schedule an appointment online or give us a call. You’ll be glad you did!
Deldar Dental provides family dentistry, cosmetic dental treatment options, restorative dentistry, neuromuscular (TMJ) dentistry, dental implants, snoring & sleep apnea solutions, oral health prevention, dental hygiene, periodontal gum care, sedation treatments, and orthodontics to the communities of Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Lapel, Hamilton County, and surrounding areas.
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