Is what you eat affecting your oral health?
We all know that a balanced diet is important to our overall health, but did you know that it is vital for your oral health as well? Poor nutrition can create a host of problems for your teeth and gums. If you would like to maintain a great smile for life, Dr. Mullaney can give you helpful information about food and dental health so you can prevent future issues, such as gum disease or tooth loss.
Nutrition affects your whole body from the inside out. You may have heard that eating a lot of sugary foods can cause the teeth to develop cavities or fall out, but there are many other things patients should consume with caution. Below, you can learn more about healthy food and how certain meals can affect you. To learn more or to schedule your next dental examination, call our office in Alexandria, VA now.
The worst foods for healthy teeth
You may be concerned to learn that some of your favorite foods are among the worst for your teeth. However, Dr. Mullaney is simply here to present information so you can make the right decisions. You do not have to avoid these foods altogether – we suggest eating items from this list in moderation and switching to healthy alternatives whenever possible. Dr. Mullaney also recommends brushing and flossing your teeth after consumption to prevent cavities and tartar buildup.
Sugary foods: candy bars and chewing gum are the most obvious examples in this category. However, you may be surprised to find out that fruit snacks or yogurt contain a lot of refined sugar as well. Try checking the nutrition label to see how much sugar is incorporated into your foods.
Carbonated drinks: this is the leading source of sugar for most kids and teenagers in the U.S. Soda and energy drinks are not good for your teeth because of the high sugar content. Some manufactured sodas also contain acids that attack and wear away the tooth enamel. This also applies to your sparkly water!
Citrus: any foods or drinks that contain acid make you more prone to developing cavities and tooth decay. This is because exposing your teeth to citric acid can erode the enamel over time.
Starch: even though bread is not necessarily an unhealthy option, starchy foods or foods that are high in carbohydrates stick to the teeth just like sugar.
The best foods for healthy teeth
How can people choose foods that promote good dental health? We suggest starting with a variety of meals from different food groups. This includes fruit and vegetables, dairy, grains, and lean meats. Each of these groups provides nutrients and minerals that benefit the body and create healthy teeth. If you are not sure how to maintain a well-balanced diet, speak with your primary care physician or a professional nutritionist. They should be able to recommend foods that meet your lifestyle and personal needs.
Dentists tell their patients to eat fruits and vegetables for a good reason. They contain the minerals required to balance out natural sugars in the body. Chewing fruits and vegetables also stimulates saliva that washes away acids and food particles. Dr. Mullaney suggests starting with dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale. They are rich in vitamin C and calcium that battle gum disease and protect tooth enamel. Vegetables are also a smart choice because they naturally clean the surface of the teeth.
Drink plenty of water
Another way to improve your dental health is to think about what you drink. Water rinses out the mouth, reducing bacteria and food particles between the teeth and gums. Water also dilutes any acid in your mouth that may wear down or destroy your enamel. Along with regular brushing and flossing, fluoridated water can also make healthy teeth more resistant to acids that cause cavities.
Learn more about food and dental health
Everything you eat affects your teeth and gums, which is why it is important to visit a dentist on a regular basis. They are the only professionals who have the expertise to address your oral health care needs. At Dr. Mullaney’s office, we work hard to educate patients and provide them with effective dental services in a comfortable environment. We also offer a variety of dental procedures to treat a wide range of problems. To learn about the link between food and dental health, contact one of our team members for an appointment in our Alexandria, Virginia office!