How Does My Diet Affect My Oral Health?

How Does My Diet Affect My Oral Health?

Your diet plays a vital role in your physical and mental wellbeing. But did you know that it can also affect your oral health? Your trusted team at Tracey Dental is happy to provide you with nutritional tips and recommendations to ensure you maintain a healthy smile for many years to come!

Nutrition and Your Oral Health

Did you know that 90 percent of adults in the United States have at least one cavity, and more than 50 percent have some form of periodontal (gum) disease? Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet will provide your teeth and gums with the necessary nutrients to stay healthy!

A diet rich in sugary, acidic, and starchy foods and beverages is harmful to your oral health. Moreover, lacking certain essential nutrients can leave your mouth susceptible to infection. Studies show that gum disease progresses faster and is more severe and destructive in people with poor nutrition.

What Foods Are Harmful to Your Oral Health?

Everyone knows that consuming plenty of sugary foods and beverages is the recipe for cavities and tooth loss. But there are also other types of seemingly healthy foods and drinks that can wreak havoc on your oral health.

Here are the types of food you should limit or avoid altogether to safeguard your oral health:

Sugary Foods and Beverages: Candies and donuts aren’t the only foods with large amounts of sugar. You may be surprised to hear that even fruit juices and cough drops often contain lots of sugar. A diet rich in sugary treats provides cavity-causing bacteria with an abundant food source. As they feast, bacteria produce acids that erode your tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay, a condition that’s usually more severe for those with poor nutrition. Sugary treats also cause plaque accumulation, the leading cause of gum disease.

Sticky Foods: Make sure to avoid sticky and chewy foods because they tend to linger in the pits and crevices of your teeth, leaving you susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.

Starchy Foods: Starches, such as white bread and potato chips, tend to stick to and in between your teeth. Foods high in carbohydrates can also break down into sugars, leaving your teeth at risk of developing decay and cavities.

Acidic Foods and Beverages: Foods that are acidic, such as citruses, can be harmful to your teeth because the acids can erode your tooth enamel, causing tooth decay and cavities. Weakened enamel also leads to problems, including tooth sensitivity and discoloration.

Carbonated Drinks: Carbonated drinks are loaded with sugar. But that’s not all. They are also highly acidic, which poses a double threat to your oral health.

Hard Foods: Extra hard foods, such as candies, nuts, and ice, can chip or fracture your teeth. In fact, biting down on hard objects or foods is a leading cause of dental emergencies. 

Foods and Beverages that Cause Dry Mouth: Saliva is your best defense against a host of oral health conditions. Consuming foods and beverages that cause dry mouth, including salty foods, dry foods, coffee, alcohol, and some medicines, can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.    

What Are Healthy Food Choices for Healthy Smiles?

Make sure your daily diet includes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, and whole grains. The best drink choice is water, which keeps your mouth hydrated and naturally detoxifies your body. A balanced, nutritious diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals not only prevents oral diseases but will also improve your overall health!

Quality Dental Care Near Me

Visit Tracey Dental in McKinney, TX, to learn more about maintaining a healthy diet for long-term healthy smiles. Dr. Long and his team are all about prevention to keep dental disease at bay. We look forward to caring for all your dental needs. Call us and schedule your appointment today!