Most people eat and drink only thinking about their weight and general body health. It is rare to find yourself thinking about your oral health in relation to what you eat. However, it is an integral part of choosing healthy diets that will promote the body’s overall wellness.
What you eat directly affects your teeth, gums, and tongue. The food could promote or affect the proper function of these parts. Many diseases affect the gums and teeth. Gingivitis, gum disease, bad breath, cavities, sensitivity, and broken teeth, to mention a few. Unfortunately, some lifestyle choices, such as poor diet, contribute to these oral health issues. Therefore, your diet has a significant impact on your teeth and gums.
But don’t start picnicking about your teeth and gums. You can improve their state by adjusting what you eat. Luckily, this guide introduces you to the best diet practices for optimum oral health. Additionally, it will show you what to avoid.
Worst Food For Your Oral Health
Sugar is the number one thing you should avoid for healthy teeth and gums. Sugar in candy, tea, desserts, and other sources will lead to cavities and other oral health problems.
When you consume sugar, it interacts with bacteria in plaque to produce harmful acid. The acid erodes the enamel. This process creates cavities in the teeth. Constant sugar intake will develop cavities, forming broken and cracked teeth.
Consuming too much alcohol will decrease saliva flow and production. A decrease in saliva flow and production is an opportunity for bacteria to thrive.
Saliva washes away the bacteria from your teeth and gums. It ensures that your teeth and gums are less susceptible to bacterial infection. Without good saliva production and flow, the bacteria clings onto your teeth and gums. This increases the chance of tooth decay and other infection.
Similarly, tobacco also affects saliva flow in the mouth. The use of tobacco and its products will leave your mouth dry, letting bacteria cling onto the teeth and gums.
Tobacco also interferes with blood circulation in the gums. Poor circulation affects tissue function, leading to infections. Moreover, using tobacco puts you at a higher risk of developing mouth cancer. This comes with stained teeth, bad breath, and cosmetically unappealing aspects.
• Carbonated drinks
If you love soda and other carbonated drinks, you may want to adjust that because these drinks are not suitable for your teeth and gums.
Carbonated drinks are very acidic. This acid interacts with your teeth, leading to the corrosion of the enamel. Additionally, carbonated drinks have a lot of sugar. It reacts with the bacteria in the mouth to form an acid that further erodes the enamel.
• Acidic foods
Similarly, other acidic foods such as lemons, oranges, and limes can be bad for your teeth. Even though they have many nutrients and health benefits, they affect the teeth.
The high-acidity content erodes the enamel. Excessive or continued intake will affect the enamel and even burn your lips and tongue. Some people even get ‘cuts’ on the corners of the mouth. Experts advise taking citrus in controlled portions and drinking a lot of water afterward.
Best Food For Your Oral Health
Milk is excellent for your teeth, especially if you have a thin layer of enamel. Milk contains calcium and phosphates.
They help to strengthen the teeth and increase saliva production. Therefore, you become less susceptible to infections. Additionally, milk helps to rebuild the enamel. Dairy products such as cheese are good too.
• Vegetables and Fruits
Crisp, raw vegetables and fruits are suitable for your teeth. First, eating these vegetables and fruits will help to remove plaque from your teeth.
Additionally, they contain a lot of vitamins and antioxidants. Consistent intake protects your teeth and gums from infections such as gingivitis. Eating raw fruits and vegetables also increases saliva production to wash away bacteria. So, eat more apples, carrots, and celery.
Replace your sports drinks, sodas, and beers with water. Your teeth and gums will thank you for it!
Water washes away bacteria and food particles stuck in the mouth. This makes you less susceptible to infections. Additionally, drinking water dilutes the acidity of other foods and beverages. This makes the acid less damaging to your enamel. Adequate hydration finally promotes saliva production and flow to wash away bacteria.
Meats, fish, eggs, and other protein sources are suitable for your teeth too. First, they repair worn-out tissues in the mouth. This makes them stronger against bacterial infection.
Additionally, animal protein is a rich source of phosphorus. This mineral goes a long way in improving the strength of the teeth and jaw. If you include regular vitamin D intake with proteins, you will develop stronger teeth and gums.
The primary function of fiber in your mouth is to keep the teeth and gums clean. The fibrous aspect removes stuck food particles from the teeth and gums.
Additionally, fiber-rich foods are chewy. Therefore, they promote saliva production and flow in the mouth. Saliva will wash away the bacteria and keep your mouth safe from infections. Saliva also contains traces of minerals that will strengthen the teeth.
• Sugarless gum
And finally, sugarless gum is great for your teeth and gums. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production. And as you know, saliva is good for washing away bacteria and nourishing the teeth.
Therefore, you can chew sugarless gum to help with this. Ensure that it is only sugarless gum to prevent sugar from touching your teeth. Sugar dehydrates the mouth and will react with bacteria to produce an acid that erodes the enamel.
Your diet is an essential part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. You must adjust it to improve oral health. Stick to a balanced diet to guarantee a strong and healthy enamel, plus healthy gums. It will also prevent bacterial infection and other health conditions. Most of all, drink a lot of water to flush away acids, bacteria, plaque, and other components that may affect your teeth in the long run.
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