What kind of diet should you maintain for excellent oral health?
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily is essential for a healthy smile, but did you know that’s not all you require to maintain excellent oral health? The diet you follow also contributes an essential chunk towards your teeth and gums. Good and healthy teeth are promoted by eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food classes. A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein foods, grains, and dairy products offers vital nutrients for good oral and overall health.
In this article, you will learn more about the kind of diet you need to maintain for oral and overall health.
How does food impact my teeth?
Since digestion starts in the mouth itself, we can say that our food considerably impacts our teeth. The sugars we consume through our diets are broken down by our saliva in the mouth, which leaves behind acid on our teeth and gums. This causes bacteria to breed in the mouth and subsequently leads to cavities, plaque, and tartar formation.
This is why we recommend a balanced diet containing food that is not just good for your gut but also for your teeth.
The best foods for a balanced oral health and hygiene system are whole grains in low-sugar bread and cereals, fruits and vegetables, and high-quality protein. Fruits and vegetables are particularly beneficial because the chewing firm, coarse, watery, and fibrous foods encourage the production of saliva, which helps to remove leftover food particles.
The Healthiest Foods for Your Teeth:
According to the Indian Dental Association, many nutritious foods help your teeth remain strong, and your mouth removes bacteria and acid from your teeth.
There are plenty of other choices if you can’t consume any of these due to allergies or sensitivities:
- Carrots, celery, and leafy greens are all excellent choices because leafy greens are high in calcium, folic acid, and B vitamins, which help keep your health. You can easily add these leafy greens to salads or smoothies.
- Green and black teas to increase your liquid intake
- Proteins that are low in fat
- Fruits like Apples and Nuts
Why opt for milk and dairy products?
Dairy items such as cheese, yogurt, and milk, for example, allow the body to produce more saliva, which helps to protect your teeth. Milk contains calcium which is beneficial for the teeth and bones. Cheese and yogurt are rich in calcium and protein, all of which are beneficial to tooth strength. Yogurt also includes probiotics, which are good bacteria for the digestive system. Pick unsweetened or sugar-free yogurt and sweeten with a pinch of sugar or honey. Assume you have a dairy sensitivity or allergy. In that case, calcium- and protein-fortified milk such as almond, soy, or cashew milk are available.
An average human spends over 37 days brushing their teeth; imagine how much enamel gets eroded due to all this friction. Adding foods that help preserve your enamel is a solution to this problem.
Benefits of including fish to your diet:
Fish containing oil are also high in omega-3s. Omega-3 fats that support gum health and may even help prevent and eventually reduce symptoms of periodontitis (gum disease).
So, if you have bleeding or inflamed gums, then you should consider increasing your fish intake. Some great options are Tuna, Mackerel, Trout, and Salmon. Fish is packed with Vitamin D, which works synergistically with vitamins A and K2 to deliver calcium to the teeth, strengthening enamel from the inside out. A deficiency in any of these nutrients can lead to weakened enamel.
Foods you should avoid:
Foods like crackers, biscuits, chocolates containing added sugar are a big NO-NO!
The carbohydrates in crackers like saltines or wafers break down quickly in the mouth and, within seconds, are just sugar for pathogenic bacteria to feast on. As the bacteria chow down, they leave behind acid onto teeth that can lead to plaque buildup and, eventually over time, tooth decay.
Soda and other aerated drinks:
Apart from their high sugar content, all sodas (Yes, even those with zero calories) contain a great deal of acid. Many standard soft drinks rank between 2-3, which is highly acidic on an average pH scale, even with acidic beverages such as coffee.
Acidity to this extent inside the mouth will contribute to decay, gum inflammation, and a general dysbiosis of the oral microbiome. If you do want to indulge in aerated drinks while also protecting your teeth, drink it over a short time — make sure to not sip for hours on end — and swish with water immediately after to provide a buffer for your teeth. After you are done, wait for about 45 minutes before brushing to eliminate all those nasty germs and enzymes thoroughly.
Even though nutrient rich food helps to maintain good oral health, you must see your dentist at least twice a year to keep yourself free from any diseases and infections.
For more information on food for oral health, you can read this article: