Many dentists caution patients that poor nutrition can have a negative effect on dental health. Eating foods high in sugar and fat affects health inside and outside the mouth. Tooth decay and gum disease are preventable, especially when a person brushes, flosses, and maintains a balanced diet.
Ways to Prevent Oral Health Problems:
Research has uncovered a majority of patients who use dentures eat less nutritious meals than individuals with healthy teeth. This has caused scientists to develop a link between diet and oral health. Since your mouth is the first place food enters the body, the food you eat affects your teeth, gums, and overall health. Poor nutrition often manifests itself through oral problems.
Immediately after eating certain foods, changes begin to occur in your mouth. Bacteria converts carbohydrates and sugar into acid, which attacks tooth enamel. This leads to cavities.
Recommended Diet for Positive Oral Health:
The American Dental Association, stands behind the government’s nutritional recommendations set by the U.S. Department of Nutrition. These include:
- Half of daily nutrition should come from fruits and vegetables. Many of these items contain high amounts of water that stimulate saliva flow. This guards against decay by washing away small particles and acting as a buffer for acidic foods.
- At least half of all grains consumed should be whole grains, including brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal.
- Dairy products are important for healthy teeth. They are high in calcium, a mineral that makes teeth strong. However, low-fat dairy is preferred.
- Protein is vital to your diet. Lean beef, skinless poultry, eggs, and legumes are smart choices. It is also recommended to eat eight ounces of seafood each week. Fish is rich in essential amino acids, which are good for overall health.
- It is wise to avoid sugar and use sugar substitutes. These items are not digested like real sugar, which means they do not feed on your mouth’s bacteria or produce acid that causes decay. This will help prevent oral problems.
It is extremely important to visit your dentist for annual checkups. This will help your dentist monitor your mouth’s condition and recommend necessary changes in your diet.