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Nutrition’s Role in Your Oral Health
Proper nutrition means eating a balanced diet. It gives your body the nutrients it needs to resist infection. If the body cannot fight bacteria, gum disease could be developed. Gum (periodontal) disease is the primary cause of tooth loss among adults. Inadequate nutrition does not directly cause the disease, but it can hasten the infection and further the damage in the teeth.
The best diet for someone to keep their optimal dental health depends on age, gender, weight, height, and level of physical activity. Overall, a health-promoting diet is based on the following:
- Variety: No single food can meet all of your nutrition requirements. Eat a lot of different foods to consume all vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain good oral health. Plus, it makes every meal more interesting.
- Balance: A balanced diet helps in the growth, development, and maintenance of oral structures. It is important to have the daily recommended amount of foods from each specific food category.
- Moderation: The key to good health is moderation in everything that is eaten. Although it can be tempting, do not supersize servings. Only eat enough food to meet the body's energy needs. Keep an eye on the intake of fat, sodium, and calories. More importantly for the benefit of the teeth, limit sugar intake.
The diet of one plays a significant role in preventing tooth decay and erosion. It can be a natural shelter for all kinds of bacteria. Some types of bacteria are helpful, but others can harm oral health, especially with a steady intake of sugary foods and drinks.
Avoid foods that are high in sugar, carbohydrates, and starches to prevent the buildup of plaque. These acids will eventually cause damage to the enamel and form cavities.
How to protect your teeth
To keep teeth healthy, floss once a day and brush two times a day. Schedule a visit to the dentist at least two times per year. Maintain a balanced diet by eating a variety of foods from each of the major food categories, and avoid foods high in sugar to help protect the teeth for years to come. Make them a treat rather than a staple. If cutting all sugary foods out of your diet completely is too hard then add foods that are low in sugar to your regular meal plan.
What is eaten is not the only thing that can affect the health of the teeth, when it is eaten also plays a big part. Snacking throughout the day does not give the saliva in the mouth a chance to neutralize the acids produced in the mouth. To maintain a healthy supply of saliva, drink a lot of water after eating a sugary snack. Having sweets after a meal can be tempting as well. Doing so, will ensure that the teeth stay in a healthy routine.
Knowing what to eat and when to eat does not only impact your general health but the health of the teeth as well. If paired with proper oral hygiene, fighting against bacterias that arise from unhealthy habits could fight eventual tooth decay. So, in addition to a balanced diet, brush and floss carefully twice a day to develop strong and decay-resistant teeth.
See our dental office for nutrition advice. Contact us today and find out how you can prevent oral diseases through proper diet and good oral hygiene.
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