5 Things to Know About Nutrition and Your Teeth
Dr. Ania and her friendly staff concern themselves with not only your current dental health but also your future dental health. Taking preventive steps early gives you defense against some of the most common dental issues and problems that affect your teeth. One of the most important components to a healthy smile is your nutrition. Certain food choices greatly affect the strength, color, appearance and health of your gums and mouth. Read on to learn how you can eat for a better smile today and tomorrow.
Nutrition and Your Teeth
Before you put another bite of food in your mouth, think of what that food is doing for your body and for your teeth. Nutrition is a major part of staying healthy through the years and living longer. The better you eat, the longer you live. It’s no surprise that the better your nutrition, the better every part of your body can be. Your teeth are no exception! What’s so important about nutrition and your teeth?
- Certain foods and drinks can damage your teeth.
- Foods and drinks can also make your teeth stronger.
- Tooth decay starts with your food choices.
- Proper teeth habits help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Preventative dentistry services will protect your smile for years.
What You Eat Matters!
Foods can make you healthy or they can make you feel sick. A diet full of sugar and processed foods (generally also high in fat) will quickly lead to sickness, weight gain, and chronic conditions and diseases. Foods can also damage your teeth. The American Dental Association suggests reducing or cutting out foods that will make a dent in your smile. These are foods that many people eat on a daily basis without realizing that they are doing their pearly whites a disservice. Some foods you should avoid include:
- Hard Candies – Hard candies are almost purely sugar. Sucking on them exposes your teeth to sugars over a long period of time, decaying your tooth enamel.
- Hard Ice – Chewing on ice can crack, break or fracture your teeth. Suck on ice instead.
- Chewy Candies – Taffy, gummies, caramels, fruit snacks and similar treats are also almost purely sugar. Sticky candies literally “stick” to your teeth and increase your risk for tooth decay. They get into the cracks of your teeth and cause cavities.
- Citrus Fruits – Whether you eat citrus fruits or have them in beverages, your teeth are taking a hit from acids. Citric acid erodes away your tooth enamel when you have it in foods and drinks. Don’t brush your teeth immediately afterwards either, or you could brush away a layer of your tooth enamel.
- Coffee, Tea and Wine – All of these drinks contain substances that get in the grooves of your teeth and stain them. Plus, people tend to add lots of sugar to make these drinks sweet.
Make Your Smile Stronger
You can instantly make your smile stronger by cutting out sugary foods. This will protect your teeth from decay and will help your health as well. There are many foods that can help give your teeth the vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy and strong. These include foods such as:
- Dairy Products – These are high in calcium, phosphate, protein, vitamins and minerals you teeth need to stay healthy.
- Leafy Greens – These are also high in vitamins and minerals.
- Fluoridated Water – Most public drinking water in the U.S. contains fluoride in the water. Fluoride will help shield your teeth from sugar and will strengthen your teeth.
Tooth Decay from Food
Not only will eating better help your overall health and wellness, but it makes a big difference in your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay is also known as “dental caries” or cavities” The National Institutes of Health report that tooth decay is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases amongst adults and children. We keep mentioning sugar. Sugar is found in almost every food, and added sugars are making more of a presence in foods that shouldn’t have them. Sugars in the foods you eat mix with bacteria in your mouth to create plaque. That’s the sticky, acidic substance we’ve mentioned that sticks to your teeth.
Every time you eat, plaque sticks on the teeth and tries to erode away your tooth enamel. If you don’t clean that plaque away, you’ll start to have tooth decay (cavities) that are big or small and can get gum disease. Both of these problems are avoidable with good teeth-cleaning habits.
Healthy Teeth Habits At-Home
You reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease the most right in your own home! Brushing and flossing your teeth should be two habits that you do every single day. Studies show that 1 in 4 adults don’t brush twice a day and 1 in 10 don’t brush their teeth often. The ADA recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. You can take these recommendations a step further and brush and floss after every meal.
You can’t keep a healthy smile without visiting the dentist! Every patient should visit the dentist at least twice a year for dental cleanings and comprehensive examinations. These are preventative dentistry services to prevent cavities and gum problems. We take x-rays of your teeth to ensure your bite and alignment is good and to detect cavities. We also clean plaque from the teeth and stuck-on tartar. Only a dentist can detect tooth decay and gum disease at a stage where it can be fixed. If you do have frequent cavities or problems with gum disease or recession, you should see us 3-4 times a year to keep your smile healthy and bright. To schedule your dental check-up, call Dr. Ania’s office today at 303-443-0998!