We know that improving our diets can have a beneficial impact on our waistlines and overall health, but what about our smiles? Yes, what we eat and drink can have an affect on our oral health. By avoiding the wrong foods and embracing healthier alternatives you can protect your smile from common oral health concerns.
The way you eat can definitely increase your overall risk of cavities forming. Foods high in sugar and other starches (chips, candy, chocolates, fruit juices, dried fruit) can leave behind particles that bacteria break down, increasing oral acidity and coating the teeth in a biofilm called plaque, weakening the protective layer of enamel. Soon, you have a higher risk of tooth decay forming. In addition, foods and drinks with a high acidic content (fruit juice, sports drinks) can weaken the outer layer of enamel as well.
As with decay, sugary foods and drinks can often lead to the onset of gum disease. The issue occurs when teeth become coated in plaque, which irritates the gums and leads to inflammation. Soon, you have a higher chance of gingivitis and periodontal disease forming.
Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva. Coffee is an example of a beverage that often leads to dry mouth. Without saliva, your teeth are at a greater risk of decay forming, as saliva helps rinse away bacteria and food particles.
Try Healthier Alternatives
In order to protect your smile, try drinking water instead of soda or sports drinks. You can cut back on foods and rinks that dry the mouth, and replace candy and chips with fresh fruit, nuts, and vegetables. Doing so can leave you hydrated, energized, and enjoying a lower risk of gum disease and tooth decay. If you have any questions abut diet and oral health please contact our office today.