Studies show that nutrition has a direct impact on your oral health as well as your overall health. What you put in your body is fuel, of course, but before it reaches your stomach where it is broken down, it first comes in contact with your teeth. The health and strength of your teeth have a direct impact on your ability to eat and get proper nutrition. When your teeth are strong and healthy, you can eat fresh, crunchy fruits and veggies that are high in vitamins and minerals, which are good for your overall health.
However, it is also important to keep in mind that the foods you eat also have a direct effect on the health of your teeth. The presence and composition of plaque in your mouth is altered and strongly influenced by your diet. For example, foods high in starch and sugars can produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel, causing tooth decay. We recommend limiting your intake of soft drinks, sports drinks, and sugary or starchy snacks to lessen the amount of acid in your mouth.
Luckily, to combat the acid in food that eats away at your enamel, your body actually has a natural defense system! Your saliva naturally washes away these acids and the calcium and phosphorus in your saliva help to remineralize your teeth between meals. This is why dentists recommend chewing gum after meals. It helps stimulate the saliva aids in clearing food debris from the crevices of your teeth. Chewing firm, coarse, and fibrous foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, also stimulates saliva production. If you can, we also recommend eating foods high in calcium, such as cheese, to help reduce the demineralization of your teeth.
However, there are no “good” or “bad” foods. It is all about giving yourself an adequate diet with plenty of variety and moderation. If you have questions about your diet and how it affects your oral health and overall health, we are here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our Modesto team!