Everyone knows that they should brush and floss twice a day and should visit the dentist for routine dental cleanings. However, many patients aren’t aware of how their diet can affect their teeth and gums. Even if you brush and floss and visit the dentist regularly, a bad diet can still impact your oral health. Here are a few tips for creating a diet that benefits your physical and oral health:
Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
Bacteria that cause tooth decay feed on sugar. A diet that is high in sugar can be a risk factor when it comes to tooth decay. It is important to clean your mouth after eating or drinking foods and drinks that have high sugar content. Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum can help wash residual sugar out of the mouth and clean teeth. Nutrient-rich fruits are also rich in sugar. It is important to brush your teeth whether you’re eating candy or fruit because the sugar can cause tooth decay in both cases.
Vegetables are good sources of minerals and nutrients. Spinach and other leafy green vegetables are rich in folic acid, a nutrient that has been shown to reduce tooth decay, as well as calcium, which strengthens bones. Crunchy vegetables such as carrots and celery have high water content and help clean out sugars and bacteria. Their crunchy texture also scrapes teeth clean as you chew.
Consume Dairy Products
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are great sources of calcium and protein which strengthen teeth. Cultured dairy such as yogurt can also give an extra benefit; the probiotic nature of cultured foods helps good bacteria to crowd out bad decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.