Oral Health and Nutrition

We all know that a nutrient-filled, balanced diet is an important prerequisite of healthy living, but apart from that, this is also essential in keeping your teeth healthy and free from decay. Your teeth, gums and mouth aren’t just there to chew – remember that this is the first step in the digestion process to ensure that your body gets the nutrients from the food you eat. If you have poor nutrition, it almost always first shows up in your oral health.

For basics, a healthy and balanced diet should have the following:

  • Grains. Consider whole wheat grains such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, as well as brown rice.
  • Dairy. Consider fat-free or low far products as much as possible
  • Protein. Choose lean protein such as skinless poultry, lean beef cuts, and fish. Also add other protein sources such as beans, peas, eggs, and legumes. Also, have at least 8 ounces of seafood every week
  • Fruits and vegetables. These should make up half of your meals.

Apart from diet, an active lifestyle is also essential for overall health as it helps boost the body’s metabolism, effectively ridding the body of toxins.

As far as oral health is concerned, the recommendation is that snacking be limited between meals. However, it is essential to snack to keep the metabolism going – so make smart choices. Don’t go for the chips, candies and sweets and instead make healthier choices such as yogurt, fruits, cheese, nuts, and vegetables – as these are better for your health and for your teeth.

Your diet can also play a part in causing or preventing tooth decay, and these depend on:

  • The form of the food you are eating – be it solid, liquid, slow to dissolve or sticky
  • The frequency that you eat sugary or acidic foods and drinks
  • The nutritional content of the food
  • The combination of the food you eat, and the order that you eat them
  • Existing medical conditions you may already have – such as eating disorders and gastrointestinal reflux

The bacteria that exist in your mouth react with the sugars in the food you eat and produce the acid that can corrode the enamel of your teeth. Hence by reducing sugary food and other types of carbohydrates, you can also reduce the risk of cavities and eventually, tooth decay.

Here are some of the common sugars present in the ingredient list of the products that we buy:

  • Sugar – white, brown, cane, confectioners’, turbinado, raw
  • Sweeteners – corn, corn syrup
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Honey
  • Malt and maple syrup
  • Molasses

Be wary of ‘empty calorie’ foods such as candies (taffy, lollipop, caramel) as well as cookies, cakes and chips not only because they offer no nutritional value but because the types of sugars in these products make it easier for tooth decay to happen. If you are in need of professional dental treatment, contact Greenspoint Dental today to schedule an appointment.