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Food and Oral Health - United Concordia Dental Insurance

Food and Oral Health

It can be easy to forget how what you eat impacts your oral health but it is important to remember that what you put in your mouth matters. Additionally, how you eat can also impact your oral health; snacking frequently between meals increases your teeth’s exposure to sugars and acids left behind by foods, which feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay. The more often you eat, the more often your teeth are at risk.

Eat in Moderation:

Sugar, found in things like candy, baked goods and even fruit, is exactly what the bacteria living in the plaque in your mouth need to eat to produce acid. Acids ultimately dissolve the enamel of your teeth and cause tooth decay or cavities. For this same reason, foods that are high in acidity like citrus fruits, condiments and fresh or processed meats, can lead to an unhealthy environment in your mouth. Other foods that can be tough on teeth are things that are hard or chewy. Hard foods can damage the enamel of your teeth while you chew. Sticky or chewy foods can get stuck between your teeth, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.

Enjoy for Oral Health:

Foods that are high in calcium, like yogurt, cheese and sour cream, are good for the health of your teeth, as calcium is one of the essential building blocks of enamel. Many foods are calcium-fortified, like tofu and cereals, so these options can be added even to diets that do not allow for dairy products. Fruits and vegetables are always good options for whole body health and your mouth is no exception to this rule. Fruits and vegetables are high in both fiber and water, a good balance for the naturally-occurring sugars in these foods. Chewing these foods stimulate the production of saliva which helps to wash away food particles, acid and sugar leftover after you eat.

 

Sources:

Nutrition: What You Eat Affects Your Teeth; American Dental Association

Smart Snacks for Healthy Teeth; Colgate