The foods you eat and when you eat them affects your overall health, but also the health of your teeth and gums. If you eat too many foods loaded with sugar, and not enough foods containing important nutrients, your risk of tooth decay increases. How can choosing a smart diet prevent dental problems?
When plaque on your teeth meets sugar, which then causes acid to attack your teeth, your teeth begin to decay. Foods and drinks containing any type of sugar can lead to tooth decay. You should make a habit of reading the nutrition labels on foods, so that you can opt for the choices lowest in sugar. Common sugar-filled items to avoid include sodas, candy, cookies, and pastries.
On the other hand, certain nutrients help build up the health of your teeth and gums. If your diet lacks those vitamins and minerals, the tissues in your mouth will be less resistant to infection. This can lead to gum disease, which if untreated can end up in tooth loss. Experts suggest that gum disease worsens faster in people who maintain a poor diet.
The key is to eat a balanced diet containing the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy foods. It’s also important to drink plenty of water. You should also limit snacking between meals, because those tend to be foods that fall outside the recommended food items for healthy teeth. Also, more saliva is produced during a meal, which is helpful in cleaning your mouth and reducing the harmful effects of acid on your teeth and gums.
For good dental health, remember to practice proper dental hygiene such as brushing and flossing regularly. Maintaining consistent dental checkups is another way to maintain your oral health. In the meantime, making smart choices in your diet will help keep your mouth in tip-top shape.