Anything that comes in contact with your teeth—such as food and beverages—has the power to affect the health of both your teeth and gums. You may think that if you brush your teeth and floss regularly, you’re off the hook when it comes to dental problems.
Unfortunately, caring for your pearly whites and gums doesn’t end with those two. Besides visiting trusted dentists who provide personalized care like Rod W. Gore DDS, you must know how what you eat is affecting the state of your dental health.
If you see your favorite food on this list, that doesn’t mean you should stop eating them. You should eat them with caution and follow eating and drinking guidelines that can help your teeth stay healthy without sacrificing your favorite food and drinks.
Take a look at how different types of food are affecting your teeth:
Admit it; you like munching on sweets as much as everyone does. Well, you can’t be blamed. Many people guilty of eating them, too. Sometimes, they eat significant amounts unknowingly because they consume them while they do something else. Aside from the taste, the good part about consuming sweets is that sugar releases dopamine, which stimulates feelings of reward, motivation, and novelty.
Sweets are linked with the formation of cavities in the teeth. You’re more prone to cavities if you combine your love for sweets with poor oral health habits. You don’t need to throw out the sweets you’ve stocked up. The only way around this is to limit your consumption and practice good oral health habits.
2. Sticky food
Foods that stick, such as raisins, molasses, and honey, can cling to the surface of your teeth and increase the risk of cavities. The case is also the same with starchy food such as potato chips and bread. You can still incorporate these foods into your diet, but you must eat them in moderation and maintain good oral health habits.
3. Acidic food
Eating fresh produce such as tomatoes and oranges is part of a healthy diet, but they’re acidic fruit types. Acidic food can affect your tooth enamel. The effect is even more significant when you eat them without a meal. So, to consume citrus fruits without harming your teeth too much, make sure you eat them along with your daily meals.
It’s also important to keep in mind that acidic fruits in juice forms are still acidic.
4. Teeth-staining beverages
Drinks such as red wine, tea, and coffee are likely to leave stains on your teeth’s surface. This can happen because these beverages have color pigments called chromogens. Chromogens can latch onto and stain tooth enamel. You can still enjoy your morning coffee and red wine during dinner, but make sure to drink a lot of water after consuming them to help wash the tooth-staining properties away and keep your smile white and bright.
What should you do with your diet?
If you noticed that most of the food in your diet is bad for your teeth and gums, you’re probably wondering about the best course of action when it comes to changing your diet to take things easy on your oral health.
Eat a balanced diet.
A well-balanced diet includes vegetables, whole grains, fruit, lean protein such as beans or fish, and dairy to keep your teeth in good health. Eating a balanced diet will allow your teeth to get the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Consume anti-inflammatory food.
To achieve healthier gums and reduce tooth extraction trips to the dentist, aim for incorporating anti-inflammatory food into your diet.
Include healthy fats.
Healthy fats are anti-inflammatory and are essential to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Eating foods with healthy fats such as salmon, avocado, and olive oil will help you avoid oral health problems in the long run. If you don’t know how to incorporate them into your diet, make sure to work with your dentist or dietitian.
Get enough calcium.
The recommended calcium intake for adults is 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams per day, depending on their age. You can get your dose of calcium from milk and other dairy products and calcium-loaded foods such as leafy greens, almonds, and beans.
Drink lots of water.
Opting for water instead of other beverages when your thirsty will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. It helps wash off whatever is stuck on your teeth’s surface, and you don’t consume additives that are bad for your teeth.
With this knowledge in mind, you can adjust your diet restrictions while maintaining your oral health. Your food intake doesn’t have to affect your teeth adversely.