We brush and floss our teeth each day and visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning and evaluation. But did you know that our diet can also impact our oral health? Many foods can harm your smile, and our dentist in Eastlake may recommend mindful eating to reduce the risk of dental issues such as periodontal disease or tooth decay. Drs. Michael Foust and Cecile Macatangay of Eastlake Family Dentistry can provide patients with information regarding the foods to eat for a healthier smile!
How the foods you eat contribute to tooth decay
We often think of eating as just a way to fuel the body, but it can also impact many things. For example, a diet high in sugars, fats, and calories can contribute to obesity. Some patients with conditions such as diabetes need to be mindful of the foods they eat and how it impacts their blood sugar levels. Patients with allergies to nuts or eggs will also need to cater their nutritional needs to their allergies. Patients who eat foods high in sugars and carbohydrates and don’t brush and floss their teeth afterward may be putting themselves at risk of developing cavities. Cavities form when bacteria in the mouth thrive off sugars and carbohydrates, creating an acid that eats away at natural tooth enamel. This causes holes in the teeth that can result in sensitivity, pain, or even infection.
What foods are healthy for the teeth and gums?
• Dairy products – milk, cheese, and yogurt have calcium and protein, which are two nutrients known for strengthening tooth enamel.
• Apples – because apples have a fibrous texture, they help in removing food from the surfaces of the teeth. They also stimulate saliva flow to rinse away food and bacteria as well.
• Celery – celery provides two antioxidants, including vitamins A and C that improve the health of the gum tissues.
• Nuts – many nuts, including almonds, are a great source of protein and calcium while remaining low in natural sugars.
• Leafy greens – leafy greens such as kale and spinach help build natural tooth enamel with calcium.
• Berries – berries, including strawberries, are high in vitamin C, which helps with the growth and repair of tissues not only in the mouth but throughout the body.
How water improves the quality of your smile
Additionally, patients should always be drinking plenty of water. Your body is made up of mostly water, but this doesn’t mean that dehydration can never happen. Keeping the body hydrated allows it to function at its best. Also, drinking water helps in washing away food particles that may contribute to disease and decay while also reducing potential problems such as dry mouth. Drinking water is much healthier for the body than drinking alcohol, fruit juices, or sodas high in sugars and can stick to the teeth.
What are the benefits of chewing sugarless gum?
Patients who have conditions such as dry mouth may also find benefits in chewing sugarless gum after meals. Sugarless gum helps stimulate saliva flow, allowing the saliva to flush away food particles and reduce the risk of cavities. Be careful in purchasing gum, as gum with sugar should be avoided.
Contact a dentist in Eastlake to learn more about nutrition and dental health The connection between what we eat and drink and the health of the smile is clear. If you are located in the Chula Vista, CA area and want to speak to a dentist about ways to improve and maintain oral health and wellness, call Drs. Michael Foust and Cecile Macatangay today at (619) 421-2828. The office is conveniently located at 890 Eastlake Parkway, Suite #201.