Does What You Eat Affect Your Teeth?
Every beverage you drink and food you eat comes in contact with your teeth. Candy, processed foods, and highly acidic drinks can eat away at your tooth enamel, causing tooth decay and cavities. That means moving away from an unhealthy diet filled with these components can benefit your overall dental health. The desire to have a brilliant, youthful-looking grin leads many people in State College, PA to take their overall health more seriously and protect their smiles. Read on to learn more from our team at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County about how food and dental health go hand in hand.
What foods affect my dental health?
Your mouth is the first point of contact with the nutrients you consume. Your teeth and gums are essential tools for chewing and swallowing, as the first part of the digestion process. Empty caloric foods, such as sweets, cookies, candies, and processed snacks high in starches like chips, contain sugar and impact your teeth and gums. Not only do they offer no nutritional value, but they also trigger bacteria in the mouth to release acids that attack the tooth's enamel. When the enamel breaks down, tooth decay can develop. When choosing foods, try to avoid or limit the following:
- Potato chips
- Chewy sour candies or sweet treats
- Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, and lemons)
- Dried fruits
- Carbonated drinks
For good dental health, be mindful
Healthy eating habits and cutting back on sugary foods may improve your dental health and reduce the risk of other diseases. Dentists and physicians agree that there is a clear association between poor oral health and disease, such as diabetes and heart disease. For healthy living and good dental health, think before you eat and drink. You should drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet while limiting between-meal snacks. Foods that are eaten as a full meal cause less harm to teeth because more saliva is released than eating snacks throughout the day. Saliva helps wash food from the mouth and lessen the effects of acids, which break down tooth enamel. If you must have a snack, choose a healthy vegetable, fruit, or piece of cheese.
Helpful habits to promote better dental health
Tooth decay happens when plaque comes in contact with sugar, causing acid to attack the teeth. Foods that contain simple carbohydrates or sugars of any kind can increase your risk for cavities and tooth decay, and even contribute to gum disease. Severe gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adult men and women. As the standard of personal care moves to connect body and dental health, State College, PA patients should also incorporate the following oral healthcare habits:
- Brush two times a day, preferably with an electric toothbrush
- Floss once a day
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Change your toothbrush every 2 – 3 months
- Regularly see your dentist at least twice a year
- After eating or drinking, swish with warm water
At Advanced Dentistry of Centre County in State College, PA, our team provides dental cleanings, exams, and treatments that will help keep your smile healthy and catch those dental problems in the early stages, while they are easy to treat. To schedule a dental exam with one of our expert dentists, contact our office or schedule your consultation online today.