WHAT WE EAT and drink obviously plays a big role in our overall health, but in a way, it affects our oral health twice. Food and drink affect teeth and gums directly while we’re consuming them, and then again indirectly after they’ve been digested.
Food and Drink’s Direct Effects on Teeth and Gums
A lot of the tastiest things we eat and drink can be pretty bad for our oral health. Harmful bacteria love to snack on any leftover traces of sugar when we eat empty-calorie foods like candy, cookies, cakes, or muffins. The more of these things we eat, the more the harmful bacteria are able to multiply and release acids onto our teeth, increasing the risk of decay.
Better Foods to Choose for Our Mouths
On the other hand, some foods are actually good for our teeth, such as cheese, milk, plain yogurt, leafy greens, and almonds. These foods contain a lot of calcium and other important nutrients. Foods high in protein like milk, fish, poultry, and eggs are also great sources of phosphorous, which, alongside calcium, is crucial for rebuilding tooth enamel.
Snacks Versus Our Teeth
When we eat is almost as important as what we eat. This is because every time we eat, it resets the clock on our saliva neutralizing the acids in our mouths, increasing the amount of time our teeth are vulnerable. We recommend limiting eating and drinking (unless it’s water) to mealtimes. If you simply must snack, we encourage you to select something nutritious like cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, or nuts.
4 Quick Tips for Lowering the Risk of Cavities
To summarize, here are four important takeaways for keeping your teeth strong and healthy:
Ask Us for More Nutrition-Related Dental Health Tips!
We’re always here to answer our patients’ questions about dental health, including its relationship with what we eat and drink. We want our patients to have all the information they need to make great, mouth-healthy choices!
Give your teeth and gums plenty of love from us!