The Role Nutrition Plays in Maintaining Healthy Teeth
As a society, we are generally rather health conscious. With the help of smartphone apps and social media, there is no shortage of recipe ideas that help substitute unhealthy foods for healthier options. Unfortunately, when we strive to eat healthy diets, we tend to overlook how nutrition plays a role in our dental health. Some items that may seem healthy can actually damage your teeth. Moreover, many processed food products and common beverages contain ingredients that can lead to the growth of bacteria and the erosion of teeth. Following are some tips on what to avoid and what to increase.
Most people know that sugar is bad for our waistlines and blood glucose but many forget that sugar is also harmful for our oral health. At any moment, the mouth is full of millions of bacteria – many of which are harmful. When we eat sugar, bacteria become very active and begin to feed on sugar particles because it is their natural food source. Bacterial overgrowth and their byproducts can contribute to oral disease, especially tooth decay. Avoiding sugar starves oral bacteria and can help reduce the incidence of developing cavities.
Stay Away from Acidic Drinks and Food
Like sugar, too much consumption of acidic foods and drinks can harm oral health. Too much exposure to acid can permanently damage teeth. This is because acid strips away the protective minerals that make up tooth enamel. Damaged tooth enamel leaves teeth vulnerable to decay and breakage. We recommend that patients limit acidic drinks like coffee, tea, and lemonade along with sodas as they contain a few types of acid. Citrus foods should be consumed in moderation, too.
Increase Water Intake
Water is not only essential to staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy weight, it is important for dental health as well. Drinking water throughout the day helps rinse away debris from food and dilutes acid. We strongly encourage patients to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water throughout each day.
For more information, contact our team at Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center at your convenience.