We have all heard about how important it is to eat a well-balanced diet and watch our sugar intake to keep ourselves healthy and fit. But did you know that your diet has a pronounced effect on your oral health or that your teeth and gums often show the first signs of poor nutrition?
The types of foods you eat and even when you eat them can have a dramatic effect on your teeth and gums. Certain types of food have been linked to higher levels of cavity-causing bacteria. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by a poor diet affect your overall health, as well as increase your risk for needing gum disease treatment.
Did you know…
that eating a slice of pie in the afternoon could be more dangerous to your oral health than eating the same piece of pie as a dessert after dinner? According to the ADA, snacking between meals – especially on sugar-filled foods – can more rapidly lead to decay than eating the same foods with meals. If you must eat the mid-afternoon pie, reach for the toothbrush afterward. Better yet, swap the pie for a nutritious, sugar-free snack like string cheese or some baby carrots.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Probably. But never start a new diet without first consulting with your physician. If you are on a special diet, be sure to speak with your dentist about the types of foods you should be eating that comply with your diet and can also optimize your oral health.
In addition to avoiding sugary foods, the ADA recommends drinking plenty of water each day and avoiding snacks between meals whenever possible. It is also important to consume nutritious foods from each of the major food groups, including whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and fruits. Not only will you improve the health of your teeth and gums, but you may drop a pant size too!
Yes. You should be flossing daily and brushing twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should also be visiting your Merrifield dentist at least twice per year for oral exams and professional dental cleanings.