Every aspect of your well-being impacts your dental health (and vice-versa), including nutrition. Your choice of food may determine your risk for oral health issues such as periodontal disease and tooth decay. Eating a healthy diet contributes to your dental wellness in numerous ways. Discover how you can maintain proper nutrition to enhance your oral health.
How Healthy Eating Affects Oral Health and Hygiene
Eating the right foods allows your body to maintain its dental health. Proper nutrition can promote a healthy mouth in ways such as:
- Enhancing repair and maintenance: Nutrients such as vitamins and minerals enable you to heal after treatments and keep teeth strong. Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D help the mouth bones and teeth. A sufficient intake of vitamin C and D can keep gums healthy.
- Promoting a clean mouth: Foods that increase saliva production let your mouth reduce the plaque bacteria on your teeth, and buffer acids that cause cavities. On the other hand, diets high in carbohydrates make bacteria produce more cavity-inducing acids.
Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth
Certain foods contain high amounts of the nutrients and ingredients that help your body keep your teeth healthy. Foods that promote oral health include:
- Eggs: Nutrient-rich eggs give your mouth the components it needs to maintain and repair teeth and gums. They include vitamin D and phosphorous that strengthen the teeth. Eggs also contain B-vitamins that enable your gum tissue to heal.
- Crunchy nuts, fruits and vegetables: In addition to providing important vitamins, fresh, plant-based foods scrub the teeth and help reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. They help your mouth create saliva that restores tooth minerals and combats acids.
- Water: Drinking water washes away food particles and reduces your risk of dry mouth. It increases the presence of saliva and can strengthen teeth when fluoridated.
- Gum and candy containing xylitol: Xylitol is a natural sugar that can not be metabolized by the bacteria in your mouth. Not only is it an excellent sweetener, it may also have antibacterial effects by keeping the “bug’s” busy trying (unsuccessfully) to turn the harmless Xylitol into destructive acid. Biologists call this effect “competitive inhibition”. Another bonus affect of Xylitol is that it’s taste helps promote the production of saliva, which we know is very beneficial for teeth.
Maintaining a Balanced Diet and a Healthy Mouth
Healthy eating habits also promote teeth and gum wellness. Patients who want to improve their dental health can follow dietary recommendations. A balanced diet that features all food groups improves your overall health, giving your body the resources it needs for dental upkeep. Established resources like the U.S. Dietary guidelines provide an overview of healthy eating strategies. You can also find valuable information on the nutrition label of food packages. Remember to pay attention to the listed recommended daily values and serving amounts.
The way you eat food also impacts your oral health. Try to eat most of your food during meals to ensure optimum saliva production. When you have a snack, choose nutritious options like plant-based foods and low-fat dairy products.
Schedule an Appointment With Dr. Forgosh
Dr. Ari Forgosh specializes in treating complex dental issues in a friendly and caring environment. He dedicates himself to perfection and excellence in his dentistry services. If you are looking for high-quality dental care in the Allentown, PA area, schedule an appointment online today.