Consuming food and drinks that come into contact with your teeth can impact your dental health significantly. The typical American diet is packed with processed food and drinks that are high in sugar and highly acidic, which can wear away at your enamel and cause cavities. Consuming foods that are both healthy and beneficial to oral health is, therefore, super important.
Avoid foods and beverages that are sugary, sticky, and acidic and instead opt for a nutritious diet that boosts your calcium intake.
You can reduce your risk of enamel erosion and cavities, as well as keep your smile looking younger and healthier, by following these healthy eating and drinking guidelines.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), cavities are linked to a diet high in sugary, sticky foods, as well as poor oral hygiene habits. That’s why sugary foods and beverages should be limited. The term does not simply refer to sweets and cookies. It is common for sodas, some sports drinks, and even juices to have high sugar content. You might also be surprised to find that some spaghetti sauces, cereals, and canned fruit have high sugar content, so make sure you check the sugar content of everything you eat and drink.
Reduce Sticky Foods
Selon Ginger Hultin, RD, in Seattle, and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), states sticky foods, such as raisins, honey, and molasses, cling to your teeth and increase your risk of cavities. Unless eaten in large quantities, these foods are acceptable when consumed in moderation, with regular brushing and flossing.
Avoid acidic foods
Citrus fruits and certain types of other fruit, like tomatoes and oranges, can damage your tooth enamel if eaten in large quantities. Rather than eating them alone, eat them in conjunction with a meal so as not to damage your teeth.
Avoid teeth-staining drinks
There are certain drinks that are likely to stain your teeth, including tea, coffee, and red wine. As a result, the colored pigments in those consumables can stain the tooth enamel because chromogens attach and stick to it. Drink plenty of water with coffee in the morning and wine at dinner to help wash away these stain-causing properties.
Eat a balanced diet
As a part of a healthy diet, the American Dental Association recommends consuming vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes or fish that are high in protein. Getting the nutrients you need to promote good oral health can be achieved by eating a variety of these healthy foods.
Aim for anti-inflammatory foods
A study published in June 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that an anti-inflammatory diet promotes healthier gums and reduced the risk of tooth loss. Foods high in saturated fats and refined sugars, according to the AND, can lead to inflammation. A high caloric intake, high carbohydrate diet, or high trans-fat intake may be considered components of a pro-inflammatory diet according to the study’s lead author, assistant professor Georgios A. Kotsakis, DDS, MS.
Incorporate healthy fats
In an anti-inflammatory diet, healthy fats play a crucial role in promoting oral health. AND recommends omega-3 fatty acids such as olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids like these are essential for your health, says Dr. Kotsakis. For help incorporating healthy fats into your diet, speak to your dentist or dietitian.
Get enough calcium
In February 2016, researchers published an article in Public Health Nutrition exploring the link between calcium consumption and gum disease. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, adults need 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium every day. ADA notes that, in addition to milk and other dairy products, beans, almonds, and leafy greens have high calcium content.
You should mainly drink water to hydrate yourself when you’re thirsty. Hultin says plain water is best for protecting the teeth as well as for so many other health benefits. Those who drink other drinks, such as unsweetened coffee and tea, aren’t doing their teeth any harm. If you do consume sweet drinks, follow them with several glasses of water – this can help wash away some of the sugar.
Do not constantly consume food or liquids. The mouth needs breaks in order to process the food you’re eating. Hultin says patients are less likely to suffer from tooth decay if they eat and drink separate meals and beverages. The American Dental Association explains that saliva is produced more frequently during a meal, which helps wash away food particles. Continued snacking, however, could leave residue particles on your teeth, especially if you eat food that is bad for your teeth, such as fried potatoes or candy.
Sugar-free gum is a good choice
Chewing sugar-free gum is a handy tool if you have a hard time sticking to your no-snacking policy. Sugarless gum can reduce the risk of cavities after meals or snacks, according to Hultin. In addition to stimulating saliva, chewing gum moves substances that can cause tooth decay through the mouth. According to the American Dental Association, saliva also helps to strengthen tooth enamel by adding calcium and phosphate.
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Stephanie Ferland is an ex-gym trainer whose goal is to help people to achieve their desired fit body by doing effective exercises.