Good Nutrition is Vital for Oral Health
Having good oral health involves taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing daily, and seeing the dentist twice a year for checkups. The foods you eat can make taking care of your teeth easier or more difficult. Good nutrition is important for your oral health as well as your overall health, and most foods that are good for you are good for your teeth. There are a few exceptions, and some healthy foods can actually harm your teeth if you eat them too often. Here are some tips for having a healthy and teeth-friendly diet.
Acids can harm your tooth enamel, and some healthy foods like citrus fruits and even some vegetables are high in acid. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be eating these foods, but you should be aware of what happens to your teeth when you do. It’s a good idea after eating citrus fruits or anything else high in acid content to sip on water during or after eating. This helps to wash away the acid that can do damage if it remains on your teeth.
Crunchy foods are good for your teeth generally, but you should be careful of very hard or crunchy foods, especially if you have dental work. The kinds of foods that are not high on nutrition usually aren’t good for your teeth either: sweet or sugary foods that stick to your teeth.
Calcium rich foods and beverages are good for your teeth because they strengthen them by building up tooth enamel. Milk falls into this category, but the most tooth-friendly beverage is water, and if it is fluoridated that’s even better for your tooth enamel.
Food or beverages that contain tannins can cause stained teeth: coffee and red wine are at the top of the list. If you are worried about staining, bad breath or remaining food particles, you should not brush your teeth too soon after a meal. Drink water or chew sugarless gum to wash away debris, but wait for at least half an hour or so before brushing to give your enamel time to rebuild its strength.
At Alabama Family Dentistry we can help you with any questions you have about how diet affects your teeth, or anything else about your oral health. If you would like to make an appointment or come in for a consultation at any of our four locations in the Birmingham area, call Alabama Family Dentistry now.