For the past three decades, we’ve all heard how important our dietary choices are for a healthy weight. We’ve been told to count calories, exercise more, and lay off the carbs for a healthy lifestyle. Yet, while the focus has been on how diet impacts your weight, there are more aspects of a healthy lifestyle than just the numbers on the scale.
The health of your mouth is significant. Studies show that the health of your mouth is a direct indication of the health of your entire body. Therefore, it is crucial that you make dietary choices that benefit your smile as well as your weight.
Every time you eat, foods and beverages enter your body through your mouth. As obvious as that is, you would think people would take more stock of how their dietary choices impact their oral health. If you have ever run your tongue over your teeth and felt a fuzzy film, then you know how dirty your teeth can get between brushings. That fuzzy film is called dental plaque, and it is made up of millions of oral bacteria that are producing acids inside your mouth. Oral bacteria are most attracted to particles of sugar, so each time you eat and drink starchy or sugary foods, you are feeding the oral bacteria inside your mouth.
Just as there are foods to avoid if you are looking to lose weight, there are foods to avoid if you want a healthy smile. And, surprise, surprise – many of the foods are the same
- Sugary drinks – Soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, and energy drinks all contain high sugar contents. Each time you take a sip of one of these drinks, you are essentially bathing your teeth in sugar and causing acid-producing bacteria to thrive.
- Alcohol –Alcohol also contains a high amount of sugar. Beer, liquor, and mixed drinks are high in carbs, and they are highly acidic. This combination significantly increases the risk of cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.
- Desserts –Again, the high sugar content of sweet foods will negatively impact your oral health. Limit your desserts to special occasions for optimal oral and overall health.
- Hard candies –If you suck on hard candies, you are exposing your teeth to sugar for long periods. Bacteria thrive when sugar is present constantly.
Of course, you do not have to give up all of these foods and drinks permanently, but you need to be aware of their negative impact on your oral health. At Ora Dentistry, we encourage you to drink more water, rinse your mouth after indulging in sugary foods and beverages, and make at-home oral hygiene a priority.