The recipe for good dental health includes regular brushing, flossing and dental visits as the main ingredients. But did you know that diet plays an important role as well? We have been told from an early age that sugary candies and drinks can lead to cavities, but a diet that benefits dental health goes beyond avoiding those obvious culprits.
In general, it is best to avoid not only sugary candies and drinks but also simple carbohydrates, such as crackers, cookies and potato chips. Bacteria in your mouth use these carbohydrates for food, so cutting back on sugar and other simple carbohydrates reduces your risk of developing cavities.
Here are some general dietary guidelines to maintain good oral health:
Drink plenty of water. Much better for you than sodas and juices, which contain excess sugar, water, like saliva, helps wash away food particles that can promote tooth decay.
Limit your snacks. When eating between meals, make a healthy choice, such as fruit, nuts, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or a piece of cheese. Because more saliva is released during a meal, foods eaten as part of a full meal may be less harmful to the teeth than those eaten alone as snacks.
Eat foods that help strengthen teeth. Cheese, chicken, nuts and milk help protect tooth enamel. Because they contain calcium and phosphorus, they are thought to help strengthen teeth.
Limit acidic foods. Eat these foods, such as citrus or tomatoes, as part of a larger meal to minimize the damage that the acids can cause to your teeth.
Fortunately, much of the advice we give regarding diet and oral health coincides with general nutrition guidelines. Eating for a healthy body will give you a healthy smile and vice versa.
For more information about how the foods you eat can affect your oral health, talk to us. We will be happy to discuss the impact of various foods and drinks on the health of your teeth and gums.