Did you know that the foods and beverages you consume can directly affect the health of your teeth and gums? Making simple, positive changes to your diet this new year can help lower your risk of developing dental diseases, including tooth decay and gum disease. We, at Dr. Rick Dentistry, are here to offer guidance and counseling, along with quality preventive services, to help you enjoy a clean and healthy smile for many years to come.
How Your Diet Affects Your Oral Health
Consuming an unhealthy diet can affect your general health and the health of your teeth and gums. Sugary foods and sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and non-nutritious starchy snacks can increase your risk of tooth decay. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria starts forming on the teeth. The bacteria begin to convert sugars and starches in your mouth to acid that attacks your tooth enamel, eroding it and resulting in tooth decay and cavities.
Make sure your diet is balanced and nutritious. If you lack certain nutrients, the tissues in your mouth may be more vulnerable to infection, which can result in gum disease. Advanced gum disease can be a serious condition and is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Many researchers have concluded that the condition progresses faster and may be more severe in people with poor nutrition.
Healthy Food Options
We encourage you to consume a nutritious, balanced diet, rich in foods from the five major food groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low or no-fat dairy products. Make sure you drink plenty of water. If you’re craving a snack, choose a healthy option, such as vegetables, fruit, cheese, or nuts, rather than processed or sugary treats. You’ll be doing overall health and your smile a favor.
Foods to Limit or Avoid
It’s best to limit sugary foods or beverages, which offer an abundant food source for bacteria. If you must have a sweet treat, make sure to rinse thoroughly and, better yet, brush after your snack. Keep in mind that carbonated drinks are also harmful to your teeth because they are acidic and high in sugar, which may result in cavities. Even diet sodas can damage your teeth because they are acidic.
Sticky foods, even dried fruits, should be limited because they cling to your teeth and are hard to clean off. The same applies to starches such as potato chips or white bread because your saliva breaks them down into sugar, resulting in a paste-like, sticky substance that lingers in your mouth, increasing your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease.
Avoid consuming hard or crunchy treats, which can cause chips or cracks, or may even break a tooth. One of the leading causes of damaged or broken teeth is biting down on hard candy. Damage to a tooth can allow bacteria to enter the inner layers, wreaking havoc on your oral health.
Keeping Your Smile Clean and Healthy
Make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Visit Dr. Rick Dentistry for your routine dental exams and cleanings every six months to ensure your smile stays clean, healthy, and free of disease.
Quality Dental Care in Scottsdale, AZ
Visit Dr. Rick Dentistry to learn more about proper nutrition for healthy smiles. We are proud to offer quality preventive dentistry procedures designed to keep your oral health in tip-top shape. Call us and schedule your appointment today.