Your dentist in Douglasville is certainly focused on keeping your mouth healthy, but the truth is, we’re also focused on what you eat. Why? Well, the truth is, what you eat can impact not only your overall health but your oral health, too. To help do our part in celebrating National Nutrition Month, we’re here to raise awareness about how eating right can keep your body and smile happy.
How Foods Affect Oral Health
Everything we eat can impact oral health. There are some foods that are great for teeth, and some that can cause problems.
What to Avoid
- Sugary Sweets: Eating too many sugary sweets can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and even gum disease. It’s why your dentist in Douglasville recommends limiting your daily intake of sugar. When we eat sugar, it feeds the bacteria in the mouth that produce acid. This acid erodes tooth enamel and can cause cavities as well as tooth sensitivity.
- Acidic Foods & Drinks: Speaking of acid, foods, and drinks that are acidic, such as citrus fruits, sports drinks, and soda can also directly harm the protective layer of enamel on teeth, making them more vulnerable to decay.
- Starchy Snacks: Sugar and acid aren’t the only things that can negatively affect oral health. Starchy foods, such as bread, crackers, and potatoes, can also contribute to tooth decay. Additionally, high-carb foods break down into simple sugars and can affect your teeth in the same way as sugar.
Best Types of Food for Teeth
- High in Calcium & Vitamin D: Two essential nutrients are needed to build and keep strong teeth (and bones!) – calcium and vitamin D. Foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D, such as dairy products, leafy greens, and salmon, can help keep teeth and gums healthy.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C isn’t only for enhancing the immune system, it’s also important for gum health. Enjoy foods with a lot of Vitamin C, such as broccoli, strawberries, and bell peppers.
Finding the Best Food for You
Nutrition can be complicated. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) tried to help us out by introducing the Food Guide Pyramid in 1992 to show us how much of each food group we should strive to eat every day. But the truth is, nutritional needs are individual, and not all of us need the same things in the same quantities. Things like age, gender, height, weight, activity level, and underlying health concerns can make your ideal combination of foods different from someone else. The best way to find out your nutritional needs is to go to MyPlate and customize the best mix of dietary recommendations for you.
Do your part this month, and all year around, to commit to eating better to keep your mouth and body healthy. And, of course, make sure to see your dentist in Douglasville at least twice a year for dental cleanings and exams.
The luckiest day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day, is almost here, which means we’re about to see a lot of green everywhere, including in your favorite adult beverages. In particular, it’s become a tradition to dye beer green, which is not only festive and fun but can also cause some concern for your dentist in Douglasville. In fact, green beer, and all types of alcohol, can negatively affect oral health.
The dye used to turn beer green can also temporarily turn your mouth and teeth green. This may be fun during St. Paddy’s Day but could be odd at any other time. This is why it’s a good thing that any green staining can usually be removed by brushing your teeth. Whitening toothpaste is often the best choice as they contain abrasive properties that can more effectively scrub away stains. Keep in mind that starting celebrations with clean teeth can help reduce stain severity. Areas of plaque or tartar buildup will attract and retain dying agents faster and more severely than clean teeth, much like disclosing plaque rinses show kids areas of their teeth they didn’t clean so well.
However, it’s not only green beer that can cause tooth discoloration. In fact, drinking any type of alcohol excessively can cause tooth staining and make teeth look yellow or brown. These stains tend to be more difficult to remove and may need to be treated with a professional tooth whitening treatment or other forms of cosmetic dentistry from your Douglasville dentist such as veneers.
The strongest material in your body is your tooth enamel, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged. Acid is usually the culprit behind damaged tooth enamel, and a lot of things we eat and drink are acidic, including beer and other alcoholic beverages. The acidity of these foods and drinks can easily erode enamel and leave teeth at risk for decay, sensitivity, and discoloration. Weakened tooth enamel may be noticed if teeth look gray, dull, or translucent.
Enjoy Your Beer, Protect Your Teeth
Enjoying alcoholic beverages in moderation greatly reduces your risk of any alcohol-related oral health problems. But besides limiting your alcohol intake, there are other ways you can further protect your smile including:
- Drinking water after every alcoholic beverage
- Maintaining a great oral health care routine of brushing and flossing every day
- Scheduling and keeping appointments with your dentist in Douglasville twice a year
Whether you’re due for a dental checkup or are looking for the best way to whiten your teeth, we’re always happy to see new patients. Call us to schedule an appointment today.