30 Jan How Does Nutrition Affect My Teeth?
Cavities are holes that form in the teeth as a result of enamel erosion. When we fail to properly brush and floss, we leave behind food particles and develop plaque buildup. Plaque contains bacteria that feed off of left-behind sugars in the mouth and convert them into acids.
Your teeth will then suffer from acid attacks that penetrate and break down the tooth enamel. Over time, this leads to cavities or holes in the teeth.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Now that you understand how cavities are formed, you can better understand why sugar and acids are the biggest culprits of cavity formation, as well as poor oral hygiene. When you consume a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates (which turn into sugar), you increase your risk of developing cavities. This is because sugar attracts bacterial plaque.
You should also avoid excessive acidic drinks and foods like berries, fruit juices, soda, vinegar, and tomato juice. Acids promote enamel erosion which weakens your teeth and puts you at risk for cavities.
However, what you eat isn’t the only important factor, it’s also how often you eat and stay hydrated. Saliva helps wash away food particles, protects your teeth, and neutralizes acid in the mouth. However, if your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva to do this, your teeth are at greater risk of acid attacks from plaque and therefore don’t have as much of a defense against cavities.
This is also the case if you’re a frequent snacker because you never give your mouth the chance to reduce the acidity. Sticky foods are more likely to lodge between the teeth and stick around longer, increasing your risk of cavities. Avoid excessive sugar, acids, frequent snacking, and sticky foods.
A Diet That Promotes Healthy Teeth
It’s important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This will keep up your mouth’s saliva production to protect your teeth from cavities and is the best thing you can drink since it doesn’t contain any sugar or acids. Most tap water is fluoridated and will offer additional protection against cavities.
A diet that sacrifices snacking for full meals at set times is very beneficial, especially for young kids, who are more prone to cavities. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables will stimulate saliva production and provide your teeth with the necessary nutrients for healthy teeth.
You should also eat foods high in calcium, phosphates, and vitamin D which are crucial minerals that strengthen your teeth. You can also chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva if you suffer from Dry Mouth.
Prevent Cavities at Smile Society Dentistry
In addition to eating a nutritious diet and avoiding cavity-causing foods and drinks, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene habits. You should brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day, and brush your tongue.
You should also visit the West Windsor dentists at Smile Society for professional cleanings and checkups every 6 months. This will ensure you catch oral health problems early on and so our dentists can remove plaque and tartar buildup that contributes to tooth decay and gum disease. Contact the team today at (609) 779-2054 or schedule an appointment online now.