Healthy Habits For A Healthier Smile
Are you a snacker or a junk food lover? There is a popular saying that you are what you eat, meaning that the foods you consume have a direct impact on the state of your overall health. There is a definite connection between the foods we enjoy and our health, oral and general. For years, you have learned about the importance of limiting sugar as a way to combat tooth decay, but you might be surprised to learn that your eating habits have just as much of an effect on your oral health.
When to Eat, When Not to Eat
Many adults eat three balanced meals a day, while others, due to personal preference or medical recommendation, eat a number of smaller meals throughout the day. Problems with oral health are more frequent in patients who graze or snack continuously throughout the day. When a meal is being consumed, much of the lingering food and bacteria is washed away through saliva or water. For people who are constantly snacking, there is never a recovery time for the teeth. They are continuously being exposed to cavity-causing bacteria. We recommend patients have set meal times as a way to establish a start and end time for eating. We know it is not always feasible to expect patients to brush after every meal, so we also suggest drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
What Foods are Better for Oral Health?
While most of our patients know that an abundance of sugar can lead to decay, many are surprised to learn that other starchy foods, such as pretzels, crackers and cereal can also be just as damaging. When left on the teeth, these foods act like sugar and begin to wear away the outer covering, also known as tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. We recommend:
- Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese
- Leafy greens
- Crunchy foods such as apples, carrots, celery
- Lean meats
- Unsweetened green and black tea
If you are located in the Phoenix, AZ area and have any questions or concerns about the state of your oral health, we are more than happy to assist you or a loved one. If it has been some time since your last hygiene examination, we recommend calling to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. We look forward to seeing you soon!