How Your Diet Affects Dental Health | Blog | Magnolia Dental

How What You Eat Affects Your Oral Health

You are what you eat. In the case of your teeth, your oral health goes as far as your overall health. Just like your body needs a variety of nutrients, so do your teeth. The nutritional makeup of food isn’t the only important factor, though. From how food dissolves in your mouth and how often you ingest certain food and drinks, to the combination of foods and even the order you eat them in, your diet plays a huge role in fighting tooth decay and preserving your oral health. 

This article outlines the dangers of sugary and acidic foods that we love to eat, but hurt our teeth. Read on to learn more about foods you can incorporate into your diet for a healthier smile.

Don’t Put Your Teeth in a Sticky Situation

It’s no secret that sweet, sticky, and sugary foods have long been known to cause cavities. Not only that, but foods that are especially sugary can attract bad bacteria and even lower your mouth’s pH – making your enamel susceptible to decay. Studies have found that frequent consumption of sugary snacks and drinks increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to these effects, which inevitably leads to cavities and tooth decay. 

In reality though, one sweet treat every now and then won’t cause immediate tooth decay. When you snack on sweets, you can lessen your chances for sugar destruction by washing it down with a glass of water. Still, be mindful of frequent consumption of sweets and sugary drinks. 

Constantly caving into those late night sugar cravings? It may be time to schedule a routine check up with your dentist. See how Magnolia Dental can help! 

Watch the Acidity on Your Enamel

While citrus and tomatoes are great additions to your diet, they have strong acidic contents, which can cause your enamel to soften. Instead of snacking on these fruits alone, incorporating them into a meal reduces the likelihood of acidity harming your teeth. Fruit juices and other foods such as orange juice, lemon juice, and cranberry jelly are also high acidity foods to be wary of.

Acidic Drinks

Do you lean on caffeine daily to greet your day? Your morning cup of coffee and/or tea contain high amounts of acidity. Beer, liquor, and mixed alcoholic drinks can also have an effect on your teeth as they can be both sugary and acidic. Furthermore, coffee, tea, and red wine are more likely to stain your teeth because they contain chromogens, which are color pigments that attach to tooth enamel. 

All that being said, you can still enjoy your morning coffee or afternoon beverage of choice, just follow it with a glass of water to help wash away the acid, sugar, and tooth-staining properties.

Super Foods for Sparkling Smiles

Although some food is not necessarily tooth-friendly, there are plenty of options and good eating habits you can incorporate into your diet to reduce your chances of tooth decay and enamel damage. Perhaps the most important option is simply eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water. Consuming a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and dairy can help you get nutrients to promote your oral health. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods and healthy fats into your diet has been shown to correlate to healthier gums and less lost teeth. Anti-inflammatory foods are easy to find as they include common items you may already be picking up at the grocery. These foods include grapes, blueberries, pomegranates, broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, ginger, avocados, salmon, walnuts, and much more.

Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Body

Your mouth is the entry point for your body’s nutrients. That means, what you eat affects more than just your oral health. In fact, the first signs of poor nutrition often show up in your mouth. Skip the sweets, drink water, and give your teeth and body a variety of healthy foods to keep your teeth looking good and your body feeling great.

Sometimes it’s best to consult a professional. If you have questions about your nutrition and oral health, get in touch with Magnolia Dental’s team of friendly dentists today!