How Nutrition Influences Dental Health
While maintaining a consistent dental care routine of brushing and flossing is essential to your dental well-being, diet also plays a significant role in preserving the health of your smile. Studies show that certain foods and beverages improve the condition of your teeth, while others negatively impact them.
Consider adding to your diet...
High Calcium/Protein Foods/Drinks
Foods and drinks high in calcium help to strengthen enamel, the outer layer of teeth that shields them from tooth decay. Cheese and milk, for example, contain casein, a protein which forms a coating over the teeth, protecting the enamel. Consuming items high in calcium also stimulate saliva production while chewing, aiding in the regulation of the mouth’s pH balance as well as decreasing the risk of developing cavities.
Foods that positively affect oral health: cheese, yogurt, milk, leafy greens
Probiotic foods and beverages work to promote healthy bacteria levels in the smile and protect teeth from developing cavities.
Foods that positively affect oral health containing probiotics: sauerkraut, yogurt (plain), kombucha
Fibrous, High Water Content Foods
Crunchy, fibrous foods that contain high levels of water are great for saliva production, which can act as a natural rinse. An apple, for example, stimulates saliva production while its coarse texture works to clean teeth as you eat. While these types of foods can’t replace brushing and flossing, they can work to freshen the smile while you are going through your day to day tasks.
Foods that positively affect oral health containing fiber: celery, cucumbers, carrots
Foods/Drinks high in phosphorus/vitamin D
Both phosphorus and vitamin D aid the body in calcium absorption, which is beneficial to the structure and overall health of the teeth.
Foods that positively affect oral health containing phosphorus: beans, lentils, nuts, red meat
Foods that positively affect oral health containing Vitamin D: eggs, fish, soy milk
Try to limit your consumption of...
Foods with a high level of acidity can weaken the enamel. A number of dental issues can arise if your teeth are left without proper defense such as tooth sensitivity, discoloration, cavities.
Acidic foods that negatively affect oral health if eaten in high volumes: lemon, coffee, tomato, alcohol
A person should limit their intake of sugary foods and drinks to ward off the development of cavities. While sugar is not the cause of decay, it does aid in the spread of harmful microbes in the smile as it is what they feed off of. Bacteria secrete an acid that eats away at the enamel which causes cavities. Limiting high-sugar snacks from your diet, as well as brushing after their consumption lowers the risk of complications accompanied by these foods.
Sugary foods that negatively affect oral health if eaten in high volumes: energy drinks, high sugar sports drinks, soda, candy, chips, bread, dried fruits
Teeth may be tough but try and avoid testing it with hard foods like ice. Chewing ice, and comparable foods, damages the enamel over time, and can lead to chipped teeth.
Hard foods that negatively affect oral health if eaten in high volumes: hard candies and ice if chewed
If you would like to learn more about which foods positively and negatively impact your oral health, contact Downtown Dental today! Dr. Deragobian and her team look forward to helping you and your loved ones maintain their beautiful smiles for a lifetime.