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3 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Diet From Adversely Affecting Your Oral Health

Most people know that sugary treats like soda and candy are bad for your teeth. However, even some foods that are considered healthy can have a negative impact on your oral health. Tooth decay (cavities) and periodontal (gum) disease can usually be avoided simply by focusing on building healthy eating habits.
First, it’s important to understand how tooth decay happens. Your mouth is full of bacteria, which lives in plaque. Some of it is harmful, and some of it isn’t. If you don’t maintain a good oral hygiene routine then that plaque will build up on your teeth, form tartar (a hardened substance that can only be removed by a professional cleaning), and can then destroy gum tissue and bone. Certain foods and eating habits can increase the amount of plaque produced while also being rough on your tooth enamel.

1. Avoid Sugars
Foods high in carbohydrates, sugars, and starches contribute to the amount of plaque acid that attacks your teeth. Even unsweetened fruit juices can contribute to tooth decay because they’re acidic and have high levels of simple sugars. Sticky foods, like dried fruit, are also tough on teeth because they (obviously) stick to them. The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars found in these foods, release acids, and lead to tooth decay. Fresh fruits are a much better choice. While apples are both sweet and acidic, they’re less likely to cause a problem because chewing stimulates the flow of saliva, which is actually very important to the overall health of your mouth.

2. Rinse After Consuming Acids
Acidic foods soften the enamel of your teeth, so if left unhindered they can really eat away at it. It’s also important to note that if you brush right after consuming something acidic (orange juice for instance), you can actually damage your enamel. It’s best to rinse with water right after consumption, and then brush about 30 minutes later. If you order soda or another acidic drink at a restaurant, make sure you get a water too! This way you can keep that acid from lingering in your mouth. Unless you use a straw (and you probably should) the things that you drink bathe your teeth in sugar and acid. Drinking water can help rinse those acids away and protect your teeth.

3. Keep Your Mouth Moist
Saliva is a major key in the health of your mouth. Saliva contains an enzyme that breaks down the cell wall of some bacteria and protects both hard and soft oral tissues. It’s important to drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated in general and to rinse your mouth of damaging sugars and acids, but it’s also important because it keeps your mouth moist and saliva flowing. If your mouth tends to feel dry throughout the day, you can eat a healthy snack (like an apple) that will stimulate saliva without leaving sticky residue or getting stuck in your teeth, or you can include some sugarless candy or gum in your diet. Chewing sugarless gum is a great way to get saliva going and it can also get food particles unstuck from your teeth.

Your diet affects the health of your mouth in all stages of life. Everyone should pay attention to what they eat and how it can impact their teeth and gums, because it’s always preferable to avoid creating problems for yourself in the first place.

If you’re noticing a decline in the health of your teeth or gums, it’s important to consult a dentist or periodontist, like Dr. Kenzik in Ormond Beach, FL, promptly. They can help assess the overall health of your mouth and make suggestions for the best course of action to reverse or repair damage.

Located in Beautiful Ormond Beach

Ormond Beach Periodontics and Implant Dentistry is conveniently located off of Nova Road in Ormond Beach, Florida. We help seniors, adults, and teenagers smile with confidence.