A nutritious diet supports a healthy smile by providing you with the nutrients you need for strong teeth and healthy gums. A balanced diet can also reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. On the other hand, certain foods and beverages can wreak havoc on our teeth. Read on to learn about a few foods and drinks that can affect our oral health:
- Sticky Foods
Sticky foods can get stuck in between your teeth, leading to cavities. They can also wear down your enamel, causing sensitivity. It’s best to avoid sticky foods altogether. If you have to have sticky food, eat it at the end of your meal and brush your mouth afterward. That way, the sugars won’t be left sitting on your teeth for too long.
- Acidic Foods
Acidic foods can soften enamel and damage your teeth. If you eat acidic foods regularly, you may want to limit their intake. If you do eat them, make sure to drink water so that the water neutralizes the acid.
Acidic foods include:
- Fruit Juice
- Sports Drinks
- Sugary Foods
You already know that sugar is bad for your teeth. But did you know that it’s especially harmful to your teeth when you have it too often? That’s because sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth and these bacteria form plaque. And the more sugar that’s in your mouth, the more bacteria you have. When you don’t brush or floss your teeth afterward, the plaque will weaken the enamel and cause cavities.
- Tobacco Products
Tobacco is bad for the overall health of your mouth. It can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. It also puts you at an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Tobacco products also stain your teeth, giving them a yellowish color. This discoloration may be permanent. So, quit tobacco use at the earliest.
- Alcoholic Beverages
Although alcohol itself doesn’t cause bad breath, it greatly inhibits saliva production, which, in turn, causes dry mouth. Saliva helps wash away harmful bacteria and neutralize odors. A dry mouth allows bacteria to flourish, which can produce a pungent-smelling breath.
- Processed Foods
Processed foods are some of the worst foods for oral health because they’re loaded with sugar, carbs, and unhealthy fats. All of these ingredients can cause cavities and gum disease. When these foods sit in your mouth, they break down into harmful acids that attack your teeth and gums.
- Poor Nutrition
Happy, healthy teeth require a balanced diet. You should focus on consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid foods high in sugar, fat, and acid. If you do consume these items, make sure to rinse your mouth with water immediately after.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Arlington Family Dental Care, call (817) 274-8439 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit a Dentist in Arlington, TX, at 2621 Matlock Road, Suite 103, Arlington, TX 76015.