Dental Health and Your Diet
Your body works hard to convert the foods you eat into energy. You may not think twice about what you are eating – especially when it comes to grabbing an afternoon snack or sipping on a vanilla latte on your Riverside commute. But the food you put in your mouth affects more than just your waistline. The truth is, your diet has a direct effect on your overall dental health. Developing good eating habits can lead to excellent oral health free of decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends avoiding certain foods that can expedite decay, such as foods high in sugar.
Did you know…
that eating a slice of pie in the afternoon could be more dangerous to your oral health than eating the same piece of pie as a dessert after dinner? Each intake of sugar leads to 20 to 30 minutes of acid production which causes tooth decay. In order to prevent cavities you should limit your intake of sugar throughout the day, preferably lumping your foods together with meals. After eating or drinking anything it is good practice to rinse with water or chew sugarless gum to decrease the acids and brush half an hour later, if possible. Brushing right after you eat can lead to tooth erosion!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I change my eating habits to better my oral health?
Probably. But never start a new diet without first consulting with your physician. If you are on a special diet, be sure to speak with your dentist about the types of foods you should be eating that comply with your diet and can also optimize your oral health.
What types of changes will my Riverside dentist recommend?
Since every intake of sugar leads to 20 or 30 minutes of acid production, Dr. Appelbaum recommends avoiding snacks between meals whenever possible and get in the habit of rinsing your mouth with water after every meal, snack or drink. The key is limiting your exposures to sugar throughout the day. It is also important to consume nutritious foods from each of the major food groups, including whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and fruits. Not only will you improve the health of your teeth and gums, but you may drop a pant size too!
Are there any other habits I should be adopting to improve my oral health?
Yes. You should be flossing daily and brushing twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should also be visiting your Riverside dentist at least twice per year for oral exams and professional dental cleanings.