There are many benefits to choosing to eat healthier, among them the ways diet affects oral health. Eating foods low in sugar and other carbohydrates and starches and high in nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus might not only help prevent cavities, but support the health of your teeth, gums and jaw. Here are 5 ways diet affects oral health:
1. Less Cavities
One of the most important ways diet affects oral health is the way it impacts the environment of your mouth. Certain foods, like sugars and other carbohydrates, when combined with the saliva and bacteria in your mouth, form plaque, a sticky colorless film that can build up on your teeth and cause cavities. Your saliva has a natural balance of mineralizing and cavity fighting properties, but sugar throws off that balance. A diet low in sugar, carbohydrates and starches can give your body the upper hand in its fight against cavities.
2. Stronger Teeth
Eating a diet high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can also provide what your body needs to support stronger teeth that are less prone to breakage and cavities. Just like your bones need calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and other essential vitamins and minerals to stay strong, your teeth need similar nutrients to be strong and healthy.
3. Improved Gum Condition
Along with healthier teeth, healthy foods can also support gum health and help to prevent conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis. Eating whole fruits and vegetables that are crunchy like celery or carrots can further benefit your gum health by stimulating circulation in your gums. Think of eating them like treating your mouth to a massage!
4. Cleaner Teeth
Fibrous fruits and vegetables like raw carrots and apples, nicknamed by some “nature’s toothbrush,” can even help to clean your teeth between regular brushings.
5. A Brighter Smile
Some fruits and vegetables and other nutrient rich foods also have teeth whitening properties. Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid that can whiten your teeth. Chewing apples, celery and carrots that can help to scrape teeth clean and increase saliva production can also work to help remove stains naturally.
When considering ways diet affects oral health, it may also be helpful to talk to your dentist for more information and tips on foods and nutrients that can best benefit your teeth and fit your tastes and lifestyle.
Call our Palm Desert office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.