What you put in your mouth and body is going to affect the health of your mouth and body makes perfect sense. But sometimes it’s easy to forget that connection. So how can diet play a role in your oral health?
Mouth healthy drink and food
The best foods for good oral health include cheeses, chicken, nuts and milk. These foods protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth. Remineralizing teeth is a natural process where minerals are deposited back into tooth enamel after being removed by acids in the mouth.
Other good oral health conscious food choices include firm/crunchy fruits, such as apples and pears, and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars contained within the food while also stimulates the flow of saliva (Saliva is a natural protection against decay by washing away food particles and creating a buffer against acid).
As far as drinks go, water should be your biggest fluid intake. You also could have milk and unsweetened tea. Limit the consumption of sugar drinks, including soft drinks, lemonade and coffee. Also keep away from sipping sugary drinks all throughout the day.
Poor oral health foods
You may not want to see this list because they can be tasty, but they are just bad for your teeth. Foods such as candy – lollipops, hard candies, chewy candies and mints – baked goods, potato chips, pretzels and friend fries. Even bananas raisins and other dried fruit can be bad for your oral health. All of these foods contain quite a bit of sugar and/or can stick to your teeth and providing a fuel source for bacteria.
Sugar-free products and sugar substitutes
Sugarless or sugar-free food simply means that no sugar was added during processing. Although, this does not mean the food does not contain other natural sweeteners like honey, molasses, evaporated sugar, fructose, or rice syrup. These natural sweeteners have the same number of calories as sugar and can be just as harmful to teeth. Look at labels, words that end in ‘-ose’ (sucrose and fructose) usually mean there is natural sweetener.
Surprisingly, sugar substitutes are not digested the same way as sugar so they don’t feed the bacteria in your mouth. However, be aware of these substitutes because they may cause other health problems.
Chewing gum, chew on…
Chewing sugarless is good for your teeth. Chewing helps dislodge food that becomes stuck in your teeth and also increases salvia, creating the acid buffers. Some gums even continue ingredients that can reduce cavities and may even heal areas where cavities are forming. However, chewing gum can cause jaw pain and other issues. If you’re going to chew, make sure it’s sugarless… so stay way from that sweet bubble gum!