Our bodies are complex machines. Whatever food we choose and the frequency of our meals can affect our general health, including our gums and teeth. If we eat plenty of sugared food such as sodas, fruit drinks, and other non-nutritious snacks, we are risking ourselves for tooth decay and other teeth problems. Tooth decay is one of the most common oral diseases, where acid attacks the teeth because of the presence of sugar on the plaque.
Reading the ingredient label and nutrition facts on food products is a must to control the amount of ingredients you eat. During dental consultations, dentists recommend eating nutritious food to contribute to good oral health. Meanwhile, others who cannot resist sugared food are likely to suffer from gum diseases because their bodies aren’t receiving the right nutrients to resist infection.
Aside from regular brushing, flossing, and teeth-whitening tools, observing a healthy diet makes a big difference in oral health. If you want to achieve a clean and bright smile, eating the right food should be a part of your dental care. To learn about teeth-healthy food, we have put together a meal plan to improve gums and teeth.
Teeth-healthy food choices
It is a well-known fact that humans need to consume a variety of nutritious food from each major food group. These include fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, whole grain, and dairy food. Maintaining wise diet choices at an early age provides vital nutrients for optimum oral health.
The American Dental Association (ADA) strongly recommends including fiber-rich vegetables and fruits into our diet. These kinds of food keep the saliva flowing during a meal, wash out the food in our mouth and lessen acid attacks, which cause cavities and harm teeth. This also serves as the best defense against gum disease. Saliva consists of small amounts of phosphate and calcium, which help restore minerals lost from bacterial acids. Whenever eating food with starches and sugars, the saliva will reduce their effects by attacking the harmful enzymes and acids on your teeth.
Dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese also promote good oral health. These kinds of food contain calcium and phosphates that rebuild teeth enamel and restores essential minerals lost from other types of food.
If you want to prevent bad bacteria from accumulating in your teeth, drinking black and green tea also helps. These beverages consist of polyphenols that tackle plaque bacteria by preventing the growth of acid that harms the teeth. Drinking fluoridated water also helps aside from brushing with fluoridated toothpaste.
The worst food for your teeth
Consuming too much sugar is a sure path towards a mouth filled with cavities. Researches continue to emphasize how sugar leads to adverse oral health outcomes. Some culprits are desserts, candies, and processed food containing sugar. Think of vending machines. If they are the source of your snack breaks and sugary treats, then it is time to rethink your diet.
The World Health Organization recommends a 10% limit to sugar intake from your daily calories. Lowering it to 5% further reduces cavity risks and other dental issues. Experts also suggest avoiding starchy food such as pasta, chips, bread, and crackers. These kinds of food contain simple sugars responsible for the production of acid-producing bacteria that cause tooth decay.
If you cannot give up your love for sweets, it is best to find ones that don’t contain refined sugars. Avoid carbonated soft drinks, starchy food (i.e., potato chips and soft bread), and other substances that increase mouth dryness, such as alcohol.
A great alternative are dark chocolates, which come with plenty of health benefits. Studies also show that chocolate is better than sugary treats. For extra measure, try eating sugary food during meals to avoid acid production.
Following a smart snacking routine keeps your teeth in great shape. As much as possible, avoid between-meal snacks. The more often we eat, the more likely we introduce harmful acids in our mouth. If you are often hungry in the middle of the day, pick something nutritious and choose wisely.
Try chewing sugar-free gums to promote saliva flow and remove acid and food from your mouth. Instead of sugary treats and desserts, choose nutrition-rich food such as popcorn, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables.
To achieve good oral health, maintaining a balanced diet is also important aside from regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. Despite our busy schedule, we should take time to plan meals and consider nutritious food options to promote a healthy body and oral health. So the next time you’re planning a nutrition-rich meal plan, consider all the suggestions we provided.