oral health and a healthy diet

Oral Health and a Healthy Diet

Oral Health Begins with a Healthy Diet

The link between oral health and healthy eating has been well-documented over the years. A nutritious diet is significant in maintaining good oral health.  At the same time, poor eating habits can contribute to various dental problems. Here are some things to be aware of when it comes to the relationship between oral health and healthy eating.

Nutrient Intake is Essential

A balanced diet that includes essential nutrients like vitamins (A, C, D, and K), minerals (calcium and phosphorus), and proteins will help maintain strong teeth and gums. These nutrients are necessary for tooth development, enamel strength, and overall oral tissue health.

Tooth Decay Prevention

We all know that consuming sugary and starchy foods can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Why is this true? Because foods that contain sugar and starches will produce acids that erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. When you limit the intake of sugary snacks, candies, and sugary beverages, you are significantly reducing the risk of tooth decay.

 

Gum Disease Prevention

A diet that is full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products will contribute to promoting healthy gums. These types of foods provide vitamins and antioxidants that help prevent inflammation and gum disease.

 

Saliva Production

Chewing on fibrous foods like raw vegetables and fruits stimulates the production of saliva. Saliva naturally helps to neutralize the acids, cleanse the mouth, and remineralizes teeth. These types of foods will contribute to better oral health.

 

Acidic Foods and Beverages

It is important to be aware that acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and sodas can weaken tooth enamel over time. At Trudentistry, we recommend that acidic foods and drinks be consumed in moderation in order to reduce the impact that the acidity in these consumables. We also recommend that you rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking acidic food and beverages.  This will serve to minimize their impact.

Hydration, Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water, especially fluoridated water, helps maintain saliva production and washes away food particles and bacteria.  This will greatly reducing the risk of cavities and bad breath.

Jawbone Health

Foods that require substantial chewing, such as crunchy vegetables and nuts, promote jawbone health by exercising the muscles and stimulating blood flow.

Alcohol and Tobacco

It is important to remember that these substances can contribute to oral health problems that include gum disease and oral cancer. When you combine a healthy diet with abstaining from tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, you will be adding greatly to your oral health and your over-all well-being.

Balancing pH Levels

A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, can help balance the pH levels in the mouth. This balance will discourage the growth of harmful bacteria that thrive in acidic environments.

Overall Health Connection

Dr. Nguyen of TruDentistry of Tigard, indicates that there is a strong link between your oral health and your over-all general health. Poor oral health has been associated many other health issues, but a good, well balanced, nutritious diet will support and promote over-all good health as well as optimal oral health.

To promote oral health through healthy eating, consider the following tips:

Enjoy a variety of nutrient-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy.

Put limits on sugary snacks and beverages.

Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

Drink fluoridated water for added protection against cavities.

Stay clear of excessive consumption of acidic foods and drinks.

Never let up on good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly.

Make a plan for regular dental office visits for check-ups and professional cleanings.

Always remember that a healthy life is a happier life.