Frequent snacking could wreak havoc on your teeth
The foods you eat have a direct effect on your oral health. Not only do they provide you with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to keep your teeth strong and healthy, but they can also play a primary role in how healthy your mouth is as a whole. Making good food choices can help protect your enamel, preventing decay and avoiding cavities.
How thoroughly you clean your teeth and how often you eat play a role in how healthy your mouth is. If there’s no bacteria (plaque) on your teeth, regardless of what you eat, there won’t be any acid from the bacteria to cause cavities and gum disease. Thoroughly cleaning your teeth daily is essential if the goal is a healthy mouth. It’s harder to do than you might think.
Frequent snacking without cleaning means you’re constantly feeding the bacteria in your mouth, which, in turn, are constantly creating acid. Taking long breaks between meals and snacks gives your saliva the chance to accumulate, diluting the acidity levels, washing away food particles, and rinsing away harmful bacteria. Limiting snacks to just a few a day can lead to a healthier mouth.
Poor food choices
Here’s a list of foods you should avoid to help keep your teeth healthy and strong:
- Sugary food
As you eat, bacteria that live in your mouth break down carbohydrates and sugars into acid. This acid attacks the tooth enamel and starts the decaying process. The more candy and sugary foods you eat, the more acid in your mouth, and the faster your teeth will break down and decay.
- Carbonated beverages
Most carbonated beverages are high in sugar and, therefore, bad for your teeth. Added to this is the fact that the carbonation in these drinks converts into carbonic acid in your mouth. This spike in acidity is exceptionally hazardous to the enamel of your teeth and can quickly lead to poor oral health.
- Processed food
Many processed foods are high in carbohydrates and sugars, causing acidity spikes in the mouth. These foods also lack a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals that are required for strong, healthy teeth. A diet predominantly made up of processed foods lacks nutritional value, affecting not only the health of your mouth but your whole body.
- Hard, crunchy food
Crunching on hard food like candy or ice cubes can cause a significant amount of damage to your teeth. Hairline fractures or chips can occur from eating these foods, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth, causing teeth to decay and rot from the inside.
- Acidic food
Acidic foods like citrus fruit, alcohol, and vinegar substantially increase acidity levels in the mouth. This heightens the breakdown of tooth enamel and leaves your teeth weak and prone to decay.
Good food choices
If you’re looking to boost your oral health, consider adding these foods to your diet:
- Dairy products
Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt are excellent choices to improve the health of your teeth. These foods are high in calcium and phosphorus — the minerals that give teeth their strength and density. These nutrients are deposited in the teeth through a process called remineralization.
- Meats and other proteins
Protein is a building block for growth, which makes it vital for the repair and good health of your gums, oral tissues, and teeth. Foods that are high in protein help promote a strong and healthy mouth.
- Xylitol gum
Chewing xylitol gum decreases the acids produced by bacteria. Decreased bacterial acid leads to decreased cavities and gum disease.
Drinking plenty of water between meals will help keep your mouth clean and will decrease the number of food particles stuck in there. It will also keep the acid in your mouth down, balancing its PH levels and preventing the breakdown of your tooth enamel.
- Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and veggies contain all the vitamins and minerals that your mouth and body require to stay healthy. Plus, many of them also have a very fibrous texture, which can act like a toothbrush, cleaning your teeth with every chew.
As you can see, good dental hygiene goes far beyond simply brushing and flossing your teeth. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, pay close attention to the foods you eat and choose those that provide the most nutrition for your body. Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, protein, and dairy and washing them down with a glass or two of water will help protect your teeth from the wear and tear that sugary, acidic foods can cause. Thoroughly removing the plaque from your teeth daily, along with better food choices, can help ensure better health, fewer dental issues, and, subsequently, significant financial savings.