The connection between mouth and nutrition is, by default, not only existent but directly dependent on each other. Digestion starts in your mouth. All the nutrition affects dental health, whereas your teeth depend on the quality and diversity of the food you put into yourself.
There are groups of food you know are healthy for your body, and which aren’t so much. Check how to take better care of your oral health with the right nutrition.
Where is the connection
Children’s healthy nutrition is important as it directly impacts their growth, including teeth growth. When it comes to adults, when all teeth have grown and are in place, nutrition is important to keep them healthy for a long time. So when you eat bad food a lot and do not take proper care about oral hygiene, the bacteria build-up will destroy plaque, create a cavity, and it can even affect your gum health, by developing painful infections.
What to eat
There is a list of vitamins and minerals your teeth need to stay healthy, but you don’t enter the store and buy a kilo of calcium! The consensus is that a whole food diet with an emphasis on lean proteins and fresh vegetables is the best one for overall health, including oral. Some specifically good for your teeth and gum health include:
- probiotics in tablets or yogurt add a protection layer against bad bacteria;
- berries such as cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries which have anthocyanin – a natural pigment that protects gum from infection;
- vegetables rich in vitamin C, like cabbage, and fruits like oranges and lemons, keep your immune system boosted and soothe your gums;
- raw vegetables and fruits provide an exercise for your jaw muscles and tongue – responsible for eating, talking and with a role in breathing, while at the same time cleaning and strengthening plaque and teeth to further eat with ease;
- legumes like soy, peas, and beans are a great source of lean protein;
- garlic, ginger, and mint prevent any plaque breakdown or bacterial infection;
- green tea and most of the teas contain fluoride – the most famous tooth strengthening component;
- apples and pineapples contain acids that clean teeth from any build-up, however, they can’t replace regular brushing and cleaning your teeth.
What to avoid
You knew this one was waiting to be mentioned – sugar. Tooth decay happens when plaque – the main teeth barrier, comes into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth. Most food with sugar is highly acidic, whereas the teeth are bones, and acids eat the bones over time. Everything you eat should be checked. If the ingredient list contains sugars, you should probably lower the consumption of that product.
Even drinks often contain a lot of sugar, where every sip of the sugary drink means a new wash of acids on your teeth and more work for you to keep your teeth healthy as a consequence. A diet that contains mostly refined sugar and highly processed carbohydrates is a receipt for tooth decay, gingival infection and it even further diminishes the possibility of getting better since the body lacks much-needed vitamins and minerals.
Healthy sweets and snacks
When it comes to eating, it is a lot harder to change our schedule and eat only a certain amount of food and whatnot. Try making the switch by changing your snacks first! Healthy snacks will keep you satisfied, and, the more you eat them, the easier it will be to make changes in your full course meals. Healthy snacks include raw vegetables and fruits, smoothies, yogurt, whole bread, and many more. If the food is healthy, it doesn’t mean it is automatically more expensive or bland, so make switches until you find what fits your palate.
Oral care basics
Even with all the healthy food on your plate all day and every day, you still need to have proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, or ideally after every meal, flossing every tooth every time, drinking water to keep your mouth clean, fresh and hydrated to further diminish possibilities of bacteria that enter your mouth whenever you touch your lips, lick them or breath with the open mouth. Dentists from Forum Dentistry specifically advise regular flossing as it removes build-up between the teeth, where the brush can’t do the proper job, as well as regular annual or even biannual visits to make sure your teeth are in the best shape.
Daily habits and teeth
It is important to mention the frequency of eating and drinking anything also affects our teeth. The best is to eat and drink at the same time and specifically not constantly. For example, eating a cookie every hour instead of taking a break and eating a regular, nutritionally healthy meal that will actually give you the strength to finish the work. Furthermore, cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco are also great enemies of your pretty smile.
They contain many chemicals bad for your healthy bacteria, but nicotine is specifically bad. It causes yellow stain over your teeth, which, in time, become gunk, and then stone-like structures between your teeth. This directly affects your plaque and teeth beneath it, causing tooth erosion and, in time, if not cleaned, tooth breakage and gangrene.
Care never stops
Finally, when you take into account the amount of money you would spend on the dentist, the amount of pain, and your smile that will always remind you about your struggles, is it really, truly that hard to make at least a few small changes? You should not, by any chance, give up on the things you like to eat and drink.
However, there are many healthier alternatives that can keep your needs satisfied while also taking care of your health. At the end of the day, you are the one responsible for your own health, and, if you are a parent, you have even more responsibility. Taking care of your health and nutrition is taking care of yourself, your children, and your family.