Foods your teeth will love and hate
Adequate nutrition is important for the proper health of the body but did you know that food also affects your oral health. What you eat could hasten or delay tooth decay, cavity and gum diseases. In fact the first sign of poor nutrition often shows up in your oral health. The initial point of contact of anything we eat is our teeth. For this reason they are especially vulnerable and therefore the need to take care of them. Below are a list of good oral healthy foods and foods you should avoid for the benefit of your dental health.
Foods to eat
Calcium rich foods: they include dairy products, fortified juices, natural yogurts and cheese. The calcium will help strengthen the teeth enamel and as well the jaw bone. It also helps reduce the risk of tooth loss through weakened teeth. Drinking milk regularly will also help keep your teeth unstained.
Fruits and vegetables: the vitamins packed in most of the fruits and vegetables are very important and beneficial for our oral health. It is unbelievable just how much they contribute in maintaining a good healthy smile, strengthening teeth and keeping bad breath at bay. Chewing on a carrot after meals also helps clean up food particles that may be suck on the grooves of the enamel.
Whole grains: compared to processed foods which are quickly turned to sugar by the body. Whole grain meals are a better alternative when it comes to choosing carbohydrates. They help in prevention of high sugar level. The heavy fibre in them also means you will consume less and thus have less sugar levels in your body.
Water: it is important to constantly keep hydrated not only for your general body health but for your oral health too. Keeping your mouth constantly moisturized helps in reducing plaque build-up, bad breath and bacteria that may be as a result of food particles left in the mouth. Diluted sugar free squashes can also be used as occasional alternatives to water.
Foods and drinks to avoid
Sugary foods: this probably comes as no surprise to many. Sugar is one of the causatives of acid build up in the mouth. Accumulation of acid leads to accelerated tooth decay, plaque build-up and bad breath. They include sweets and sugary drinks. After taking sugary foods it is important to brush your teeth at least 30 min later. Brushing immediately is also not recommended as the teeth are weaker after taking up sugar and this could lead to damaging the enamel. You could also floss or chew a sugar free chewing gum for at least 20 minutes. Chewing helps in removing some of the stuck food particles as well as increasing saliva flow that will help avoid plaque build-up and bad breath
Acidic foods: for example vinegar and fruits parked with citric acid like oranges, lemons and grapes. Acidic food affects the mouth in different ways. Other than encouraging acid build up which leads to hastened decay they also erode the enamel and leave it vulnerable to damage. It is therefore advisable to reduce intake of acidic foods and drinks.
Fizzy drinks: and stain causing beverages; they include sodas, coffee and red wine just to mention a few. Regular intake of these drinks tends to stain the teeth quickly. These drinks also trigger a build-up of acid in the mouth which we have already seen has negative effects. In addition, some of them contain high levels of sugar not ideal for oral health. If you take these drinks, drink water immediately after to reduce their concentration in the mouth.
Hard crunchy foods: it may feel good to chew on some hard nut or an ice cube or even a sweet but this is not a very good idea. They subject your teeth to hard pressure which may weaken them and lead to enamel chips and tooth loss.
Alcohol: alcohol causes dehydration which reduced amount of saliva and can cause a number of oral health problem including tooth decay. Excessive consumption of alcohol also increases the risk of mouth cancer.
Remember oral hygiene is key to great teeth therefore brush your teeth twice a day, floss every so often and visit your dentist regularly. It is especially important to visit your dentists as soon as you suspect that you have a dental problem. It ensures that any problem is caught in its early stages before it grows worse and more difficult to treat. Finally, include oral healthy foods in your diet to boost and maintain your dental health.