You only get one set of permanent teeth in your lifetime, so it is vitally important that you make healthy choices to protect your smile. One of the most overlooked aspects of good oral health is a person’s diet. We all know that what you eat impacts your weight and overall health. But what you eat also has a direct impact on your oral health. All foods and beverages must enter through the mouth, so it should not be a surprise to see the connection between dietary choices and oral health.
Sugar is the most common culprit for an unhealthy diet, and it is also the most destructive culprit to a person’s smile. Understanding what happens inside your mouth will help you think about your food and beverage choices a little more carefully.
Inside the mouth are millions of oral bacteria. While that sounds creepy and disgusting, these bacteria help break down particles left behind in your mouth every time you eat and drink. These bacteria can be very beneficial, but they can also cause a great deal of damage. You see, oral bacteria love sugar more than anything else. Oral bacteria gather around even the smallest particle of sugar in vast quantities. While this may sound helpful, here’s the bad news: oral bacteria produce acids to assist them in their efforts to break down particles. When the bacteria work to break down particles of meat or dairy, the amount of acid they produce is relatively small. However, when bacteria congregate around particles of sugar, they produce an excessive amount of acid. It is this acid that eats through tooth enamel to create holes, or cavities, in the teeth.
Choosing a diet that limits sugar is vital for your entire health. Diets that are rich in fiber, low-fat dairy, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are healthy diets. It is also vital that water is your staple beverage. Avoiding drinks and foods that are high in sugar will benefit your body, head to toe.
At Ora Dentistry, we encourage you to make healthy choices to protect your smile and your overall health. With wise food and beverage choices, proper oral hygiene can protect your smile for a lifetime.