The body needs proper nutrition and rest to function well. According to experts at birmingham dentistry, the food you eat is important as it affects your health holistically, including your gums and teeth. If you have a penchant for sweets, you have a high risk of having oral problems like tooth decay. Tooth decay is one of the leading childhood diseases, which causes pain for children. But, did you know that tooth decay is preventable?
Tooth decay occurs when plaque builds up and causes acid to destroy the tooth. A sugary diet is the main contributor to tooth decay. Going through the ingredients and nutritional facts of the food you eat can help you to determine which have high and low sugar content.
The foods that have high sugar content include sodas, candy, cakes, and pastries. Your doctor or dietician can give you the proper dietary recommendations based on your age, height, weight, and health status. Remember, if your usual diet does not have the nutrients that your body needs, your immune system weakens. In return, your body becomes prone to infections, including mouth problems, gum disease, and tooth decay. According to recent studies, gum disease is directly related to poor nutrition.
To help you understand the foods to eat and what to avoid, here is a guideline for you to follow.
Foods for Your Teeth
A healthy diet is essential to keep your teeth healthy. Include these foods in your daily diet for a happier smile.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are always the best choice. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals but have low calories. Kale, spinach, lettuce, and cabbage are common in household kitchens. Leafy green vegetables have high calcium, which is essential for your tooth enamel. Folic acid can also be found in your greens. It’s a vitamin B derivative that improves gum health and helps prevent gum diseases, especially in pregnant women.
If you are a person who is not keen on eating green leafy veggies, try mixing them with your favorite fruits and turn them into a yummy smoothie. Or maybe, mix and match vegetables and fruits to create a salad that will best suit your taste.
Yogurt is a dairy product that almost everyone loves. Made from fermented milk, it has a high calcium and protein content, which is beneficial for your oral health and teeth strength. Yogurt also contains prebiotics, which helps flourish good bacteria in your mouth, which helps fight cavities.
Like yogurt, cheese is a dairy product with high calcium and protein content. According to the American Academy of General Dentistry - May/June 2013 Issue, cheese intake increases the mouth’s pH level, which decreases the risk for tooth decay.
Sweet foods are a no-no for the teeth, but fruits are an exception. Apples have good fiber and water content. They also trigger saliva production, which washes away food particles and bacteria. An apple’s stringy texture also benefits the gums. The old saying that everyone needs an apple a day never goes wrong.
If you love munching on nuts, almonds are your best choice. They have low sugar content but have high calcium and protein. Add almonds to your morning cereal or lunch salad. Or maybe, enjoy it for a quick snack on the go.
Tea reduces the speed of bacteria growth in the mouth. Black and green teas are your best options. According to a study conducted at the University of Illinois, those who washed their mouths with black tea for about ten times in 24 hours had lesser plaque accumulation than those who just used water.
Cranberries are best for the urinary tract and are also good for the teeth. Like teas, cranberries have polyphenols that help reduce plaque. As a result, the risk of tooth decay decreases also. However, cranberry intake should always be in moderation as they have high sugar content.
Foods to Avoid
A snack is a way to keep the body going during a hectic day. However, be careful of what you eat as some food items do more harm than good to the body, particularly to your oral health. Here are some food items that you should avoid.
There is no other sweeter food than candies. Candies are pure sugar that causes cavities that leads to tooth decay. Aside from this, hard candies can also cause chipping in the tooth when chewed. If you need something to chew on, you may try sugarless gums as an alternative.
Who loves chips? We do! Sadly, this tasty snack contains starch that goes between your teeth. The starch, if left for a long time, causes cavities. After having chips, brush your teeth properly and floss to ensure the removal of all chip residue.
Aside from being full of sugar, sodas are also highly acidic. As a result, they affect your tooth enamel. If you drank a glass of soda, drink a glass of water after to wash it off.
Eating a well-balanced diet plus lots of water is the best nutrition your oral health needs. If you want to know more about what you should eat based on your specific needs, it’s best to consult your dentist.
However, if you already have inevitable dental conditions like tooth loss, have severe tooth decay, or are already for tooth extraction, it’s best to consult specialists to check if you are qualified for specialty dental treatments from birmingham dentistry. Schedule a phone consultation to know your options. Still, remember that prevention through a healthy diet will go a long way for a perfect smile.