How Your Diet Affects Your Oral Health

May 23


Steve Koo

Steve Koo

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Did you know that the foods you eat can help protect or damage your smile? Take a look at good and bad foods that can affect your oral health, and wise choices can preserve your teeth and gums.


As a dentist,How Your Diet Affects Your Oral Health Articles I treat dental issues constantly at my practice. I’m no stranger to decayed teeth, infected gums, and jaw disorders. Still, it surprises me that patients today don’t follow better diets. Meals, after all, drastically impact your oral health! Your smile will thrive or falter based on your foods and drinks. However, I recognize not everyone has the facts on this issue. To help things along, then, I’m here to share what I know. So, read on to learn three crucial truths about your diet’s effects on oral health.

Sugars & Acids Decay Teeth

While teeth are durable, they’re not invincible. Sugary or acidic items can damage them if consumed to excess.

First of all, sugar attracts harmful mouth bacteria. In doing so, it makes those germs produce enamel-eroding acid. The result, naturally, is tooth decay, cavities, and (sometimes) dental abscesses.

Meanwhile, acidic foods and drinks act on teeth directly. Their acids wear enamel down and cause long-term tooth erosion. That process, in turn, can lead to cavities and even tooth infections.

Given these facts, you’re better off avoiding, or at least limiting, high-sugar and high-acid products. The former type includes candies, soft drinks, and chocolate. In contrast, the latter spans sour fruits, fruit juices, and carbonated beverages.

Tap Water Strengthens Enamel

Tap water is your best bet for an alternative to sugary sodas and juices. It refreshes your mouth and body, even as it bolsters them.

You see, tap water is great at cleaning teeth and gums. The liquid washes sugary residue off your teeth before bacteria can decay anything. It also produces a healthy saliva flow, which remineralizes your teeth. That remineralizing strengthens your enamel and helps prevent cavities.

Even better, tap water itself usually has healthy minerals – fluoride, phosphorus, etc. Dentists believe these nutrients protect the enamel from decay. As such, drinking from the tap will make your smile strong!

Some Foods Have Mouth-Healthy Nutrients

Of course, water isn’t the only good thing for your mouth. Many foods are known to make teeth and gums robust.

For example, consider dairy products and lean proteins. Cheese, milk, and plain yogurt are chock full of calcium, a mineral that makes enamel hardier. On the other hand, meats like beef, poultry, fish, and eggs have protein – a nutrient that protects and rebuilds teeth.

There are also good fruit and vegetable choices. For starters, chewing apples, raw carrots, and celery stimulates the gums and generates saliva. Plus, leafy greens contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta carotene. These latter nutrients heal gums and build up your tooth enamel. Even certain berries are rich in anthocyanins, which prevent the attachment of pathogens to teeth.

Ultimately, your diet has far-reaching effects on your teeth and gums. It’ll do serious damage to your smile if you aren’t careful and making healthy choices. Therefore, remember the truths above as you eat and drink in the future. That way, your pearly whites will always live up to this nickname and impress the people around you. Hopefully, now that you understand what’s at stake, you can choose more wisely in your diet!

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