The Good, the Bad and the Healthy
When it comes to oral health and nutrition, the staggering variety of foods and drinks available can make it difficult to figure out what choices are good and bad. Fortunately, the Marconi Dental Group has experience with the pros and cons of the average American diet. Everyday, our dentists see what happens to teeth due to healthy diets, versus unhealthy eating. Here are some examples of things that are good and bad on the road to staying healthy.
Keep the Teeth Strong
Calcium and phosphorous are building blocks for enamel remineralization, the body’s process of fixing slightly damaged tooth enamel. Sources of these minerals include dairy products like milk and cheese. Meats and various kinds of nuts also have these minerals. Firm and crunchy fruits and vegetables provide plenty of other nutrition. Hard foods like carrots and apples also encourage the jawbones to stay strong, increasing the likelihood that you keep your teeth long term.
Keep the Saliva Flowing
Stay properly hydrated with water to maintain your saliva production. In turn, saliva washes away food particles and neutralizes acids that eat away at your enamel. Some water sources add a small amount of fluoride, which boosts and reinforces enamel protection.
Remember to give your mouth time to recuperate after eating. Constant snacking or grazing throughout the day does not allow your saliva a chance to neutralize the harmful acids that build up after you eat. At a bare minimum, promote a healthy oral environment by rinsing thoroughly with water after every snack.
What Do You Feed Your Bacteria?
Sugary foods and drinks provide excellent, easily digested fuel for the bacteria in your mouth, producing acids that cause tooth decay. Acidic drinks reinforce this attack on your teeth, bypassing the bacteria to directly cause enamel damage. When uncontrolled, this results in cavities. It can also lead to tooth loss and gum disease, if not kept at bay by a consistent routine of oral hygiene.
Of course, we all want something sweet to eat on occasion. Fresh fruit, dried fruit or yogurt proves a better choice than cookies or candy. Many people have a sweet dessert with their dinner, and that is a good decision — if you are going to have a dessert, it’s better to have it with a nutritious meal instead of alone. What’s more, having something after the dessert (like a small piece of cheese or fruit) produces a little more saliva. This helps to wash away any remnants, so they don’t stay on your teeth too long.
When it comes to sugary drinks, especially acidic ones, it’s best to refrain from them as much as you can. It you have one, follow it up with a swish of water to rinse out your mouth. Also wait at least thirty minutes to an hour after having one of these drinks before brushing. The simple act of brushing might take some of your enamel away, if the teeth are coated with acid.
Apply Healthy Principles for Strong Teeth and Gums
Both your state of wellness and your oral health are vitally important, one contributing towards another. When you apply these principles, you preserve your health, your teeth, and your smile for your entire life. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Marconi Dental Group. We’d be happy to discuss them with you.