How does nutrition affect oral health?June 10, 2021 5:08 pm
Choosing to eat and drink healthily can be hard, but it’s hugely important that we each try our best. Making bad choices can have negative consequences for your health – not least of all, the health of your teeth and gums.
Everything you eat affects your whole body
We’ve all heard the phrase: you get out what you put in. This is very true of diet and dental health. Eating the wrong types of food and drink can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and you might even lose teeth.
How diet plays a great role in caries
Dental caries is caused by decay, with a common cause being a diet filled with sugary and processed foods. The ’bad’ bacteria in your mouth love to feed on sugar, so if you consume lots of it, for example through sweets, chocolate, and fizzy drinks, these ‘bad’ bacteria will feed and produce acid, dissolving tooth enamel in a process called demineralization. The bacteria also produce a sticky plaque which, if not removed by saliva or tooth brushing, provides a home for more bacteria and plaque. It’s a vicious cycle that eventually leads to caries – holes in the tooth enamel!
Getting better oral and general health
To avoid dental issues you should eat and drink well, and have a thorough daily dental hygiene routine. Avid sugary foods, and processed foods as well, as these can also be very high in sugar. Eat lots of vegetables but go easy on the fruit, as this is high in natural sugars, which can still be very damaging. Likewise, dried fruit should be eaten in moderation – not only because of the high sugar content but the fact that it’s chewy and sticks to teeth makes bacteria love it even more. Lastly, drink lots of water and avoid fizzy drinks, even sugar-free versions which are still very acidic.
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