Nutrition for Oral Health
It’s the New Year, and people are making their resolutions, including the resolve to eat healthier. Every year it’s the same: people want to slim down and start dieting with real gusto. As the months pass andmany workplace donuts are consumed, healthy eating habits don’t seem as important any more. But it’s not only waistlines that hurt when healthy diets are tossed out the window — your teeth suffer too.
Think of certain foods as evil villains whose soul purpose is to wreak havoc on the metropolis that is your mouth. Sugar and carbohydrates, like most villains, don’t start off as evil. They are made that way by the chemical reactions that occur within the mouth while you chew. When sugars and carbohydrates are broken down by saliva, bacteria converts them into acids that attack tooth enamel and promote the decay process. Sugar-filled, carb-loaded, and highly acidic foods are the bringers of the destruction that is tooth erosion and should be avoided at all costs.
Foods to Avoid
Highly acidic fruits
Candy and other sugar-packed foods
High-carbohydrate foods, such as cake, cookies, and bread
Foods that have a habit of sticking to your teeth (and trap sugar and bacteria)
Sugars posing at natural sweeteners
Many foods will use natural sweeteners, like honey, molasses, or evaporated cane sugar, that act the same as regular sugar. Always read the packaging label to avoid these additives ending is “ose” (e.g., sucrose, fructose, and glucose)
For every villain, there is a hero trying to clean up the mess they’ve made. In the world of your mouth, these heros are the basic nutrients provided by food that help strengthen your teeth. They all work together to maintain your oral health, like a Justice League of nutrients. You have your power players, calcium and phosphorus, that are vital for remineralizing teeth. It is the mineral bonds of the enamel that make teeth one of the strongest substances in the body. Vitamins are your sidekicks that ensure gum tissue strength. Polyphenols and phytochemicals are secret weapons that are used to slow the growth of and kill bacteria.
Food You Should Eat
Crunchy fruits and veggies with high water contents
Black and green tea
Sugar substitutes, such as Splenda or Equal, don’t have the same chemical properties as regular sugar and don’t cause tooth decay
Food rich in:
Vitamin A: maintains the soft tissues of the gums
Vitamin B: prevents toothaches, receding gums, and sensitivity
Vitamin C: prevents gum inflammation
Vitamin D: promotes the absorption of calcium
Vitamin E: contains protective antioxidants
Regular dental visits are key in maintaining your oral health. If you would like to be seen for general care, damage repair, or improvement in the appearance of your teeth, contact Dr. Fiss today. He eagerly awaits to help fulfill all your oral health needs. Schedule a consultation today by calling (312) 951-5230, or fill out our online contact form here.