What Is the Link Between Good Nutrition and Oral Health?

When most people think about the impact of good nutrition, they think about things like lowering their risk for heart disease or losing weight. In reality, the effects of good nutrition stretch all the way to your smile. The food choices you make affect your health in many ways, and as part of your dental examination in Lake Stevens, WA, your dentist may discuss your eating habits with you. How does your nutrition influence your oral health? Here are the facts you need to know. teeth - sugar

Your sugar intake could lead to cavities.

Tooth decay is caused by the build-up of bacteria in the form of plaque and tartar on your teeth. To survive, the bacteria need a food source, and sugar is one of its favorite meals. When bacteria and sugar meet in your mouth, they also create an acid that erodes your teeth for 20 minutes for each exposure. The more you feed the bacteria in your mouth and spark that acid erosion, the more likely you are to find out you have cavities during your dental exam. Reduce your intake of high-sugar foods, including sports drinks, sodas, and fruit juices with added sugars, to protect your teeth.

Acid foods can cost you your tooth enamel.

When you eat foods or choose beverages that are acidic, your tooth enamel pays the price. Sodas are major culprits when it comes to acidity, but even healthy foods like citrus fruits can be to blame for acid erosion. Cut out sodas to protect your teeth from acids, and be mindful of your intake of acidic foods. As you lose tooth enamel to acid, you become more prone to decay and tooth sensitivity.

Crunchy fruits and veggies protect your teeth.

When you reach for crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and apples, you’re making a smart choice for your teeth. These healthy, crunchy foods act like tiny toothbrushes for your teeth, scrubbing the surfaces with each bite. They help to wipe away food debris and bacteria, leaving you with a healthier smile.

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