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The impact your diet has on your teeth

Posted by: Dr. Sirakian     Categories: Dentistry, Oral Health


Everyone knows that eating too much sugar can cause tooth decay and cavities. But did you know there are other hidden ways your diet can negatively impact your oral health?

1. Unhealthy Diet & Your Immune System: Your immune system keeps you strong and healthy…but it needs the right fuel to work effectively. If you don’t eat nutritious meals, your immune system weakens and becomes less capable of fighting infections—including those of the gums and mouth. Lingering infections can result in inflamed gums, cavities, and other tooth issues, not to mention a lot of pain. Sound like something you want to avoid? Stick to a balanced diet—and remember that anything you choose to eat ultimately affects your oral health.

2. Not Drinking Enough Water: The bacteria that cause cavities and gum infections thrive when the mouth is dry. A dry mouth also lowers the naturally occurring acid levels in your mouth, which makes it easier for sugars and bacteria to damage your teeth. By drinking water steadily throughout the day, you’ll create a healthier environment in your mouth by increasing moisture and helping to balance acidity.

3. Acidic Foods & Drinks: Acid in everyday food and drink attacks tooth enamel, causing decay, sensitivity, and discoloration. It’s right up there with sugar as something to avoid to protect your teeth. You’ll find high acid levels in citrus fruits and juices, tomato products, vinegar-y foods like pickles, coffee, and wine (the latter two also tend to dehydrate you…see #2!). Sodas are another main offender—including diet. If you consume things from this list, try to drink water alongside them and use a straw with beverages to avoid contact with your teeth. You can also lessen the effect of acidic foods by pairing them with low-acid foods like cheese, eggs, fish, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, oatmeal, and fruits like bananas, apples, and melons.

4. Starchy Foods: When you consume starchy, carbohydrate-rich food like bread, pasta, potatoes, and white rice, you face a double whammy of oral health danger. First, whenever starch comes into contact with the plaque bacteria that coats your teeth, it produces acids which then attack your teeth for up to 20 minutes after you’ve finished eating. Sustained attacks eventually result in decay and damage to teeth, bones and gums. Second, starchy snacks like chips and crackers and the foods mentioned above break down into sticky particles that are more apt to get stuck in your teeth. This gives them more time to transform into acids. To defend against the starch attack, drink water during carb-heavy meals and always brush and floss after them.

Jul
16

Veganism and Dental Health

Going vegan has become an increasingly popular lifestyle choice in the past decade. While people have a variety of different reasons for choosing a plant-based diet, many vegans tend to have one thing in common: weaker teeth than carnivores. Whether you’re a lifelong vegan or newly considering making the switch, read on to learn what […]

Jul
9

Fighting Dental Cavities With Oil Pulling

While there are many fads out there that claim to be beneficial for your general or dental health, oil-pulling actually is. It can reduce the number of cavity causing bacteria as well as reduce the tooth-eroding acidity in the mouth. Studies have also shown that oil pulling can reduce the plaque index of your mouth. […]

Jul
2

Oral Health Tips for Those Aged 40-60

If you’re between 40-60 years old, you have unique concerns with regards to your oral health. Here’s what you should be paying attention to. Gum Disease Gingivitis is the first and only stage of gum disease that is reversible. If not treated properly, gingivitis can develop into. periodontitis—a serious, destructive disease. Some people with gum […]

Jun
25

What to Know About Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

For most adults the dentist can be a scary experience, so we understand your reservations about bringing your baby to the dentist. But, good oral hygiene starts young, and so do dentist visits. Your child should definitely make their first dentist visit before their first birthday. The general rule that most dentists follow is that […]

Jun
17

Activated Charcoal: Safe or Scary?

You’ve probably seen this new dental trend on your social media feeds: beauty influencers sporting pitch black smiles and swearing the result is cleaner, whiter teeth. The product? Activated charcoal powders, applied and brushed onto teeth in lieu of toothpaste. No one can deny its popularity, but is this craze hot, or hazardous? Activated charcoal […]

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The information presented here is not intended or implied to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should be used for informational purposes only.

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