Did you know that your teeth and gums perform the first step in digesting your food? Without them, achieving optimal health is much more difficult. But the relationship between your food and your mouth don’t end as soon as you swallow. Yes, your mouth enables you to eat healthy and have great overall health, but the food you eat also affects your oral health. In fact, before harmful foods show a significant impact on your overall health, their influence can manifest in your mouth. To celebrate National Nutrition Month this March, keep reading this post from your dentist in Frisco to learn more about how the foods you eat can harm or help your oral health.
Foods to Avoid
Mostly, foods that are harmful for your body are also bad for your mouth. Especially if you have a sweet tooth, your teeth and gums can suffer right along with your overall health. That’s because the bacteria that live in plaque, the white, sticky substance on your teeth, thrive on sugar and create toxins that attack your teeth and gums. Over time, these bacteria cause cavities and gum disease. Here are just some examples of foods that are detrimental to your oral health:
- Processed sugars and carbohydrates.
- Unhealthy snack foods.
- Sugary drinks, like sports drinks, soda, energy drinks, and juice.
In many cases, the foods that promote your overall health help to protect your mouth as well. These healthy foods include the following:
- Fibrous fruits and vegetables. Foods like broccoli and apples encourage saliva production, which helps to wash away food particles and plaque.
- Leafy greens. For example, spinach and kale contain high Vitamin C content, which helps battle inflammation, so you are better protected against gum disease.
- Calcium-rich foods. Dairy products like low-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt can strengthen teeth against decay.
- Water-filled fruits and vegetables. Watermelon, cucumbers, and pears are just a few examples of foods that have high water content, helping to rinse plaque and other food particles away.
- Protein-rich foods. Meat, poultry, fish, milk, and eggs have phosphorus, which also helps protect and rebuild tooth enamel.
These foods are necessary for your body—and your mouth—to have a long, productive lifespan.
What you put in your mouth and eat has an impact on it. By making smarter choices in your diet, you can improve not only your overall health but your oral health as well. In the long run, your teeth and gums are worth protecting so that you can continue to use them to bite, chew, speak, laugh, and smile with confidence for years to come.
About the Author
At Stonebriar Smile Design, the three experienced, talented dentists take dental care to the next level. Practicing wellness dentistry, or the approach that oral and overall health are connected, they offer a “Smile with Heart” exam to find oral bacteria that could indicate more serious conditions. They also provide dental oncology, hormonal treatment, and guidance for dental nutrition to help patients strengthen their bodies and mouths. To contact them for an appointment, call (972) 377-7800 or click here.