Diet and Oral Health

Diet and Oral Health

Most people recognize that eating a healthy, balanced diet is good for weight control and overall health, but did you know there is a direct link between the foods you eat and your oral health?

Tooth Decay and Cavities

In fact, one of the most common dental health issues caused by dietary choices is cavities. As reported by the Mayo Clinic, tooth decay or cavities, are caused by multiple factors including frequent snacking, sugary beverages, mouth bacteria, and poor oral hygiene habits.

Carbs and sugars in foods mix with mouth bacteria and convert to harmful acid. This corrosive substance breaks down tooth enamel causing decalcification and cavities (holes in teeth). By eating foods rich in calcium and phosphorus can help re-mineralize weakened enamel and fill-in the gaps.

Foods for Oral Health

The best foods for strong teeth and gums include dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as meat and nuts. Green veggies including spinach and broccoli are also great calcium sources for those sensitive to lactose.

Other foods that will benefit your dental health include crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, and apples, pears. Consuming foods like these boosts saliva production, which helps eliminate leftover food particles from the crevices in your teeth, gums, and tongue.

In addition, fruits and vegetables are high in water, which dilutes sugars that turn into acid when combined with oral bacteria.

Acidic and Sugary Foods

Highly acidic foods erode tooth enamel and cause cavities and other mouth issues like canker sores. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, cranberries, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and soda are all highly acidic foods and drinks.

Carbohydrates and sugary foods and beverages combine with oral bacteria and become acidic. These items include bread, potatoes, candy, cookies, and cakes.

Dried fruits like apricots, dates, and raisins offer some health benefits but are also high in sugar. These sticky foods also adhere to tooth enamel and can cause damage if not removed.

Beverages for Oral Health

The best drink choices are non-acidic and low in sugar and carbs. Fluoridated water is ideal. Water fortified with fluoride helps re-mineralize weakened tooth enamel. Water hydrates and aids in saliva production which helps neutralize acids. It also flushes away food particles and bacteria.

Milk is another healthy drink option, rich in teeth strengthening calcium. Unsweetened teas are also a good choice.

Dentists in West New York, New Jersey

The knowledgeable staff at Complete Dental Works in West New York, NJ, are a great resource. Dr. Ro and Dr. Cantuariasto can discuss with you the best foods for optimal oral health.

After a thorough examination, your West New York dentist can assess the overall health of your teeth and gums and suggest food modifications to help any issues or concerns.

Book an appointment today and let Dr. Ro and Dr. Cantuarias at Complete Dental Works explain the relationship between you and your family’s diet and your oral health.