When it comes to oral health, brushing and flossing are essential. But did you know that it’s important to make healthy food choices, too?
The foods you eat topically and systemically affect oral health. Different foods and drinks can be either helpful or harmful when inside the mouth. Once ingested, nutrients can also impact oral health.
For example, foods and drinks containing minerals like calcium strengthen teeth from the inside, while cheese can actually create an antibacterial coating on tooth enamel, protecting teeth until you’re able to brush.
Healthy teeth thrive on a balanced diet containing dairy, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and nuts. When choosing a beverage, it’s best to stick with cleansing water or vitamin-rich milk.
Harmful foods include:
In addition to affecting tooth enamel and structural strength, nutrition also affects the body’s systemic health. Dietary choices are directly related to (and sometimes responsible for) chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These conditions are also strongly correlated with periodontal (gum) disease, meaning individuals with periodontal disease are more likely to also have cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes and vice-versa.
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that occurs in the pockets between the gums and teeth. Periodontal disease often develops due to poor oral hygiene and the subsequent buildup of plaque and tartar along the gum line. Left unaddressed, periodontal disease can cause painful gums, bone deterioration, tooth loss, and even systemic infections that harm organs in other parts of the body.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help you achieve all around, optimal health, avoiding chronic conditions, and maintaining a healthy smile. Practicing proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings will keep your teeth and gums healthy. With the right nutrition and oral healthcare, you can avoid all the systemic risks associated with gum disease.
Once our office is able to resume full operation, we encourage you to schedule a teeth cleaning and dental checkup with Schaffer Dental Excellence. It’s important not to neglect your teeth, and regular wellness and preventative care appointments are essential to your ongoing health.