Most people are unaware that their eating habits have a direct impact on their dental health. If you want to maintain your dental health, you need to avoid certain foods containing excess sugar and foods that are likely to cause tooth decay.
If you eat the right foods, they can strengthen your teeth and improve their appearance. If you’re unsure how to incorporate healthy foods for your dental health, you can start small and gradually make the changes.
Below are some eating habits that can help improve your dental health as well as your general health.
- Take more avocado
Different literature shows a link between the foods we eat and how they can alleviate or worsen dental conditions and overall health issues. One food that significantly improves general and dental health is avocado.
Avocado is a rich prebiotic fibre source. The fibre serves as a nutrient to probiotic bacteria in the gut and oral cavity, improving your digestive health. Avocados also contain essential fatty acids that absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin K1 and E.
- Incorporate leafy vegetables
Spinach contains several nutrients that help strengthen the teeth. Other dark leafy greens also contain minerals and vitamins, including folic acid, iron, vitamin A and C. These nutrients keep the gum healthy and strengthen the enamel.
Leafy vegetables also contain low sugar and fat that help reduce the acidity of the stomach. Since these foods are naturally basic, they soothe the oesophagus and stomach, which is beneficial to people experiencing acid reflux. Spinach also contains antioxidants and is an excellent addition to your smoothie.
- Eat whole foods
It is best to take whole foods as much as possible instead of processed foods. For example, eating raw apples is better than drinking apple juice. Chewing a raw apple helps exercise your gums and teeth, and it contains higher amounts and purer minerals and vitamins.
- Take more calcium
Drinking milk is not the only source of getting your recommended dietary calcium allowance. Besides fat-free or low-fat milk, calcium is available in almonds, tofu, yoghurt, cheese and some dark, leafy vegetables. Calcium can strengthen your enamel and protect it from cavities and erosion.
- Limit snacking
You may not eliminate snacking altogether, but you can try reducing the number of times you snack daily. Eating small meals several times can increase the risk of accumulating acid, so even if you want to snack, ensure you have something healthy.
For example, you can eat raw fruits, vegetables or popcorn instead of soda pop and hard candy.
- Drink a lot of water
Health professionals have always advised people to drink lots of water due to its health benefits, but most people do not drink enough water. If you can, opt for fluoridated water because it helps protect the teeth from decay.
- Increase fibre intake
Foods containing a high amount of fibre increases saliva production. Saliva contains small amounts of phosphate and calcium. It also rinses the gums and teeth as you eat and serves as a defence against sugar and starch effects on the teeth.
After eating fibre rich foods, saliva in your mouth begins to compact the effect of harmful bacteria, acids and enzymes.
- Take tea instead of coffee
Taking several cups of coffee in the morning can give you a great start, but it causes harm to your teeth. Instead of taking coffee every day, you may want to take black or green tea a few days a week. These beverages contain polyphenols that combat the effect of plaque and acid in the mouth.
When polyphenols and plaques interact, polyphenols will kill the bacteria or stop it from causing further teeth damage.
- Reduce starchy foods
Potato chips, pasta and soft bread, tend to cause more harm to the teeth. These starchy food particles can lodge between the teeth, and if you do not floss immediately, they remain between your teeth for a long time, reacting with bacteria to cause cavities and tooth decay.
Try limiting your intake of starchy foods and when you eat them, ensure you drink lots of water, then brush your teeth afterwards.
- Strategise your sugar intake
A high intake of sugar negatively affects your dental health. It may be best to avoid sugary foods, but if you can’t limit their intake and take them at strategic times. For example, instead of eating snacks after your meals, take them alongside your meal. The saliva produced while eating can wash the sugar from your teeth and combat the effect of acid.
Your food choices are important to maintain your oral health, making incorporating the right foods into your diet necessary. With the right foods, you can have healthy gums and teeth. However, you still need to visit St Albans Dental Centre to maintain your oral health.