As we get older, we all start making choices that we think will help protect our oral health, but not many of us think about what we could add to protect our teeth. Every part of our body requires a certain balance of nutrients, and many diseases can be mitigated or avoided altogether with a proper diet. While eating right all the time can be challenging, it doesn’t have to be boring. It just requires a solid understanding of what foods bring good things to the table (so to speak), as well as which to avoid.
A Combination Of Good Food, Good Sense, and Dental Care
In addition to adding things to your diet to help support your oral health, you can also learn a lot about your overall health from your dental health. There are hundreds of types of bacteria that reside in your mouth, the large majority of them harmless or even helpful. That being said, our mouths are a doorway into our digestive and respiratory system, and that doorway can lead bad strains of bacteria to cause us harm. A good diet gives us the defenses we need against all of them, even Streptococcus mutans, the leading cause of cavities.
Good oral care is the foundation of protecting our teeth, but it doesn’t end there. Maintaining a diet that contains all the nutrients and minerals our mouths need to build strong teeth, bones, and other tissues in the mouth is essential. Not maintaining good oral health can cause seemingly unrelated health problems that may surprise you, including heart disease.
Dietary Additions For Strong and Healthy Teeth
We all know that carbohydrates are possibly the worst food choices we can make for our oral health, right behind high acid foods like lemon juice. The reason for this is that carbohydrates largely consist of, or convert to, sugars. These sugars are fed on by the bacteria responsible for cavities, which results in the production of acid that can soften the enamel and cause decay. It’s also important to realize that nutrition and digestion is a complex process, with studies like this in StatPearls exploring how they work. A full dental healthy diet includes elements of all the following:
- Eating Foods High In Vitamin D, A, and C
- Focus on Dairy Products with High Calcium
- Drink Fluoridated Water
- Lean Proteins and Low-Fat Meals
- High Fiber Vegetables and Fruits
You can also ensure you avoid drinks and foods that are sugary or processed. Not only does this avoid the sugar aspect, but it also avoids elements of highly processed foods that can have deleterious effects on your overall health. Contact your dentist to learn more about how you can support your oral health through good dietary choices.