The Relationship Between Food and Oral Health

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The Relationship Between Food and Oral Health

Everyone’s diet varies depending on the lifestyle they’re accustomed to. For example, a stay at home mom might have more time to prepare home-cooked meals than an entertainer on tour traveling to different cities every night. Someone who is traveling frequently may result to food that’s easily accessible and within their budget regardless of the nutritional facts.

Food plays a significant role in oral health because certain foods negatively affect the teeth and gums. If someone has poor eating habits, the first signs show up in the mouth. Maintaining a wholesome diet and making regular visits to your local dentist can help ensure the long-term health of your smile. 

Maintaining a Balanced Diet

Although maintaining a balanced diet may be easier for some than others, it’s essential for the longevity of oral health. The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion created a website called MyPlate that goes into depth about what a balanced diet should consist of. For starters, the number one food group that should be incorporated in everyone’s diet is The Relationship Between Food and Oral Healthfruits and vegetables. This food group should cover half one’s plate at each meal. Next on the list are grains, preferably whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice. Next would be dairy, preferably low-fat or fat-free options if possible. Lastly, some type of protein should be consumed, such as lean beef, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, or legumes.

When it comes to oral health, people should refrain from snacking on junk food in between meals. Sometimes it’s not possible to avoid such options, but frequently eating sweets and chips promote tooth decay. Snacks should consist of cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, or nuts.

How Food Affects Oral Health

It’s vital that people do their best to avoid consuming empty calorie foods, such as candy, cookies, cakes, muffins, or any other high sugary snacks that offer no nutritional value. Even sugary drinks, such as soda, lemonade, juice, sweetened coffee, and sweetened tea should be avoided. When high sugary foods are consumed, a thin layer of bacteria called plaque covers the teeth, digests sugar, and uses it to produce acids that destroy the enamel. The stickiness of plaque allows the acid to continue attacking the enamel long after the food has been consumed.

Eating foods rich in minerals like phosphorus and calcium are recommended for maintaining healthy teeth because they protect and rebuild enamel. Fruits and vegetables are critical components for good oral health because of the amount of water and fiber they contain that balances sugar levels and keeps the teeth clean. These foods also help activate saliva production, which is essential because saliva rinses harmful acids and neutralizes them, ultimately preventing teeth from decaying.

San Diego Dentist

Maintaining a healthy diet is a form of preventative care. At McBride Dental, we encourage our patients to maintain a healthy diet and avoid sugary foods because we understand the harm poor dieting causes the teeth and gums. We also encourage our patients to visit our office for regular checkups so that we can perform routine cleaning and a dental exam in order to prevent gum disease and/or tooth decay. If you’re concerned about your oral health, call 760-471-1003 to schedule an appointment.

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