We all know that in order to keep our body healthy, we have to be aware of the nutrients that we consume. The more vitamin enriched foods we consume, the more it helps our bodies function properly which makes us feel better in the long run. In order to achieve a sparkling smile, you’ll need to treat your teeth to more than just regular brushing. When it comes to a healthy smile, it all starts with healthy habits such as your brushing routine to the foods you should and shouldn’t eat. Your mouth is your body’s initial point of contact with the nutrients you consume. So naturally, what you put in your mouth impacts not only the health of your teeth and gums, but also your overall health. When it comes to your mouth the beverages, frequency of snacks, and even the gum you chew all have a powerful impact in your mouth health.
Healthy Teeth and Gums
Dental issues are caused by a thin film of bacteria called “plaque” that coats your teeth. When you eat or drink, the plaque bacteria digest any sugar and produce acids that attack your tooth enamel. The stickiness of plaque keeps these acids in contact with the enamel for some time after you have finished eating or drinking. With repeated and prolonged exposure to these acids, your enamel eventually can wear through. It is important to remove plaque regularly by brushing your teeth twice daily and cleaning between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner once a day. If plaque builds up, it can cause swelling and bleeding of the gum tissue. Eventually, the hard and soft tissues that hold your teeth in place can be damaged, and you run the risk of losing teeth. You should visit your dentist regularly for a complete oral examination and a professional cleaning.
Eat Nutrient Enriched Foods
Your teeth need nutrients to stay strong, white, and cavity-free. For good dental health, it’s important to eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups. This ensures that your teeth get the essential nutrients they need. Calcium, found in dairy products and leafy greens, is especially important for your teeth. Phosphorous, which can be found in proteins such as eggs, fish, poultry, meat, and dairy, is also essential. Attention to your eating habits can reduce your risk of developing plaque. Frequent snacking or sipping on sugar-containing beverages such as soda, juices, sports drinks can create an environment for decay. Keeping an eye on the amount of sugar in your diet can also help protect your smile. Most foods contain some sugar. For example, fruits and vegetables contain sugars naturally, while other foods have added sugars. You can minimize the risk of developing plaque by consuming less sugar, as well as limiting foods with added sugar in your diet.
Salivary flow increases more during meals than during snacks. Saliva helps weaken cavity causing acids and rinses food particles from the mouth. Too much snacking isn’t only bad for your waistline, it’s bad for your smile as well. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth, than eating lots of snacks throughout the day. The reason this is worse that snacking throughout the day, is because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash particles away from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities. Some snacking is inevitable, so make sure to opt for something healthy such as cheese, veggies, nuts, or fruit.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water is also one of the best things you can do for your teeth, especially if it’s fluoridated. Fluoride is considered “nature’s cavity fighter,” and it helps strengthen your teeth and ward off tooth decay. Water is a great mouth cleaner because it washes away leftover food and particles that causes bacteria to grow on your teeth. The cavity causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that breaks down enamel, which is the outer shell of your teeth. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Drinking juice, soda or sports drinks on the other hand, can leave unwanted sugar behind. Many of these drinks also have added acids to make them taste less sweet, but those acids also cause trouble by eating away enamel. Water cleans your mouth with every sip and is beneficial by rinsing away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. You’ll still need to brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth, but drinking water through the day will go a long way toward keeping your smile cavity-free.
Welcome to the Encinitas dental office of Gregory Skeens, JR., DDS. We are your home for caring dental treatment that supports superior oral health and helps you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Our modern facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology and our team is here to make your visit enjoyable and relaxing.
We take a truly individualized approach to dentistry, which is why our practice is so popular. After every treatment, Encinitas dentist Dr. Skeens personally makes follow- up phone calls to patients to ensure that they are feeling well. Your comfort and well-being are of ultimate importance.