Nutrition and Oral Health
There are numerous benefits to maintaining a healthy diet: you have more energy, you strengthen your immune system, and you lower the risk that you will fall victim to many life-threatening diseases.
But as your trusted Carmichael dentist, we at the Marconi Dental Group are also interested in your oral health. Let’s see how a balanced and nutritious diet can help you take proper care of your mouth and teeth.
How Good Nutrition Benefits Oral Health
Simply put, a healthy, nutritious diet — along with a good routine of brushing and flossing — makes for strong teeth and gums.
When it comes to the teeth, it’s important that you get enough calcium, vitamin D, phosphorous, and protein. The best source for these nutrients is green vegetables, although you can also get some of them from dairy products and even certain types of fish and meat.
In contrast, a diet that is high in sugar content won’t give your teeth the nutrients they need to thrive. Even worse, those sugars will actually attack your teeth, by producing bacteria that causes cavities. And since poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, you’ll be at higher risk for diseases of the mouth (including periodontal disease and even cancer). Your body’s ability to fight infections will also be hindered.
What Should I Eat?
Before addressing this question, you should know that a nutritionist is the best person to provide professional advice on a healthy diet. These individuals are trained to consider varying factors including your age, gender, height, weight, level of physical activity, and medical history.
But as oral health professionals, we recommend adhering to the following two general principles:
- Diversity: A well-balanced diet is a nutritious diet. By eating a variety of foods — fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and various sources of protein — you’ll have a good chance of getting the nutrition you need.
- Moderation: Also important is to eat enough, while not going overboard. The habit of overeating can be difficult to break once you begin. And clever marketing and advertising can convince you to eat the worst kinds of foods when it comes to your oral health. Therefore, strive to eat to be satisfied, not stuffed. And reduce foods or treats in your diet that are high in sugar.
Foods that are rich in calcium and phosphorous help strengthen your teeth. Also, by drinking enough water you maintain a healthy amount of saliva, which helps keep your mouth clean by washing away food and neutralizing acids that would otherwise attack your teeth’s enamel.
What types of foods are the worst for your mouth and teeth? Sugary candies and junk food, as well as sweet, sugary drinks (such as soft drinks). The sugar from these foods help harmful bacteria in your mouth to thrive. They produce harmful acids that attack your teeth and eat away at the enamel, contributing to cavities and weak teeth.