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The Role Nutrition Plays in Maintaining Healthy Teeth

dentist DallasWhat you eat affects your oral health—including your teeth. We all know that eating healthy is important for our general wellness but sometimes, people overlook the importance of nutrition on our oral health. In addition to visiting our dentist for routine checkups and cleanings, our practice recommends limiting sugar intake, watching out for acidic ingredients in foods and beverages, and staying hydrated.

Limit Sugar Intake

Sugar is dangerous to your dental health because it feeds oral bacteria. Our mouths are warm and moist—a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Eating sugar will only give bacteria more fuel to survive. When bacteria feed on sugar (including starches), they release acid as a by-product and colonize to form plaque. Acid is an irritant that softens teeth and uncontrolled plaque can lead to the development of gum disease and tooth decay.
Whenever possible, avoid sugar. If you do consume something with high sugar content, drink water as you eat. We recommend limiting sugary drinks like soda, too. Drinking water while eating or drinking something sugary will help rinse away sugar particles.

Avoid Acids

Acid is very dangerous to your teeth because it can damage tooth enamel. Our tooth enamel is comprised of minerals. The mineral content of tooth enamel is what makes this protective barrier on the outside of our teeth so strong. Unfortunately, tooth enamel is not impervious to damage. Acid is dangerous because it strips away the mineral content of tooth enamel, thus weakening it. Acids can be found in many foods and drinks. Sometimes acid is naturally occurring, other times acid is used as a flavor enhancer and preservative. Common acidic foods and drinks include citrus fruits, soda, and alcoholic beverages.

Staying Hydrated

Water intake is very important to your oral health. Drinking water throughout the day will help rinse away food particles that harm teeth as well as dilute acids. Water’s neutral pH is also good for preventing an acidic environment in the oral cavity.

Call us today to reserve a checkup with our dentist.