It’s no surprise, we are what we eat!
It’s been said that we are what we eat and the same can be applied to our oral health. A diet that includes high sugars and processed foods can and will have detrimental effects on not just your overall health, but also your oral health. Many carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars in the mouth before they reach the digestive tract and it’s these sugars that react with already present bacteria that begin the decay process in teeth and gums. Sugars, such as artificial sweeteners or even natural ones found in many fruits and veggies, will increase the acid buildup in your mouth and will eventually cause decay. Through a process called demineralization, the increase in sugars will increase the acid production which in turn dissolves minerals in tooth enamel. Dental decay begins inside the tooth enamel when minerals are being lost faster than they are being regained. In order to stop the spread of acid buildup and the loss of enamel, which is your protective layer of tissue for your teeth, the foods you consume will have a negative or a positive effect.
Foods to avoid
Simply put, avoid all foods high in sugars, natural or artificial. Try to avoid drinking sugary drinks such as pop, sugar filled fruit juices, and sweet coffees. Don’t indulge in snacking on cookies, pastries, pretzels, chips, popcorn, etc. If you chew gum make sure you go with sugar free gum to further prevent problems in your acid buildup. Don’t forget, acid doesn’t just stick around while you are consuming food, it can linger for up to an hour after you’ve eaten something!
Foods to eat
Unprocessed foods are best. For example, aged cheese eaten immediately after other foods helps buffer the acid in your mouth. Choose healthy options such as green leafy veggies, cheeses, meats, nuts and seeds. Cook with healthy oils such as olive oils, coconut oil and avocado oil. Drink plenty of water, unsweetened teas and coffees. Your mouth will thank you for it!
Like the rest of your body, your mouth depends on overall good nutrition to stay healthy. In fact, your mouth is highly sensitive to poor nutrition, which can lead to premature tooth loss, serious periodontal (gum) disease and bad breath. Many nutritional problems will affect the mouth before the rest of the body. Don’t also forget to get your teeth checked regularly. We here at Strathcona Dental Works in SW Calgary, work hard to get your mouth feeling and looking its best!