Our parents have told us time and time again to eat our veggies. There are many benefits in consuming them, after all. Yet as we grow older, the struggle to consistently make healthy food choices becomes difficult now that there is a lot of temptation to opt for tasty fast foods that are easily accessible with online delivery apps.
Did you know that unhealthy eating patterns in the long run can affect your teeth? Here are the reasons why.
Sugar speeds up tooth decay
It’s hard to avoid sugar completely when almost every food has it. The sugar from your diet combines with bacteria in plaque to produce acid that weakens the enamel and causes tooth decay. It is how much sugar we consume, as well as how often, that affects the development of tooth decay. The physical form of the sugar is also important.
It is not just the obvious sweet foods and drinks such as lollies and soft drinks that can cause decay. Frequent snacking on foods with hidden sugars like biscuits, crackers, cereals, muesli bars and even dried fruit can cause acid attacks on your tooth enamel. Sugary foods that are sticky and chewy take longer to be cleared from the mouth and can therefore increase your risk of tooth decay.
To reduce sugar intake we need to be mindful and keep an eye on food labels. It is best to choose whole, natural foods, and foods and beverages that are low in added sugars.
Lacking nutrients weakens the immune system
Fruits, veggies, whole grains and other kinds of nutritious food provide all the vitamins and nutrients needed to sustain a healthy body. If there is an imbalance, your immune system will have a harder time fighting off bacteria.
This lack of nutrients also affects your oral health. Although poor nutrition does not cause periodontal disease directly, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and can be more severe in people with nutrient-poor diets.
Making smarter choices on foods and drinks
Here are some tooth-friendly tips about what to eat and drink for a healthier mouth:
- Drink lots of water – tap water in most areas of Australia contains fluoride, one of the easiest and most beneficial ways to help prevent tooth decay.
- Limit intake of sugary and acidic drinks including soft drinks, sports drinks, vitamin waters, cordials, fruit juice and energy drinks.
- Choose healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, and yoghurt or cheese.
- Try to limit sugary treats to mealtimes, rather than between meals.
- Chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating to prompt your mouth to produce more saliva, which helps neutralise decay-causing acid attacks.
Ready to fine-tune your eating habits? Keep your dental health in check here at Glenfern Dental.
Glenfern Dental has been the trusted family dentist from Ferntree Gully to Eastern Melbourne suburbs and across areas like Boronia, Wantirna and Bayswater to name a few since 1992. We want to make sure that each patient’s visit is a pleasant experience and that’s why we make sure that a professional and friendly team is here to address all your dental concerns.