Your dental health and overall health are connected. If you eat right, exercise, and take care of your teeth and gums you will have a beautiful smile and strong teeth. You may not realize how much nutrition plays in your oral health. At Lake Pointe Dental Dr. Michelle Mendoza feels it is important to educate her patients on the importance of good nutrition. While there is not one super food that will give you strong teeth and healthy gums, what you eat does affect your dental health.
Oral Health and Nutrition
The foods and beverages you drink can affect your dental health. They can affect the formation of periodontal disease, cavities, and a decrease in tooth enamel. You probably know foods high in sugar can contribute to the development of cavities. Bacteria that causes cavities thrives on the carbohydrates produced when you eat sugary foods. While it is obvious most times if sugar is present in a food, you may not recognize it other forms. Look for any ingredient which ends in –ose. Fruit juice concentrate, fructose, maltose, sucrose, glucose, and dextrin are all forms of sugar.
Acid is another culprit in weakening your teeth. Some fruits and soft drinks are very acidic and can contribute to the breakdown of the enamel on your teeth which protects them. The phosphoric acid in sodas is very acidic and if you drink a lot of soda you may be contributing to not only a high sugar diet, but exposing your teeth to an excess amount of acid. Limit your soda intake to one a day, and keep an eye on your sugar intake. This will not only benefit your dental health, but also benefit your overall health as well.
Healthy Food for Teeth
You have several choices in healthy food for teeth. Healthy teeth need calcium and phosphorus. These can be found in nuts, chicken, meats, cheese, and milk. Firm crunchy foods like apples and pears are also good for your teeth and gums. These types of food stimulate saliva production which washes away food particles and any helps to buffer acid present in your mouth. If you eat acidic foods make them part of a meal so that the effects are minimized.
Sugar free foods are a good choice for oral health and nutrition. Since sugar substitutes are not metabolized the same way sugar is in your mouth and body, the bacteria which feed on sugar cannot use the sugar substitutes to grow. This cuts down on the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth, and helps to reduce the amount of sugar intake in your diet.
Water is one of the best ways to ensure your oral health. Water not only hydrates your body, but it washes your mouth out. This keeps the bacteria and acid in check and helps to move food through your body. Just upping your water intake will improve your over health, and greatly improve your oral health as well.
Don’t overlook the connection between your dental health and overall health. Dr. Michelle Mendoza and the entire staff at Lake Pointe Dental take your oral health seriously. Visit the office for regular checkups, brush your teeth after meals and snacks, floss daily, and pay attention to your diet. You can have beautiful teeth and healthy gums through a balanced diet and good dental practices. Contact us today if you have any question on the connection between dental health and overall health. We serve the entire Austin area and look forward to serving you.