Every time you eat a meal, or sip a beverage, your teeth are the first part of your body to make contact with the substance. As such, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that what you eat has a big influence on your smile. If you’re a habitual coffee-drinker, then over time, the dark liquid can dull your teeth’s shine and turn them brown. If you consistently snack on candy and other sugar-loaded treats, then it may not be long before you develop a cavity or two. However, if you feed your dental health the nutrition it needs and keep your mouth clean with good hygiene practices, your meals and snacks could benefit your smile, rather than threaten it.
Beware of Sugar and Acid
Have you ever wondered exactly why consistently devouring candy rots your teeth? It isn’t the candy itself, but rather the sugar, starches, and sometimes acidity that poses the real threat. The plaque that covers your teeth now and then contains countless masses of bacteria. Some of them, known as Streptococcus mutans, have a strong craving for fermentable carbohydrates (like sugar and starch), and the germs produce acid as waste every time they consume them. Acid weakens the enamel that protects your teeth from infectious bacteria, and frequent snacking increases the rate at which acids attack your tooth enamel.
Now, for the Good Stuff
Just like food can weaken enamel, other foods can strengthen it. Tooth enamel is a highly-mineralized substance; the strongest that your body produces. It’s made almost entirely of mineral crystals fashioned from calcium and phosphate. Since your body doesn’t produce calcium naturally, you have to consume it. Dairy products and meat (including chicken, turkey, and beef) are an excellent source of calcium and phosphate, as are green leafy vegetables, fortified orange juice, and several kinds of fish.
No Matter What You Eat…
No matter how well your diet caters to the needs of your smile, you still have to keep your teeth clean and disease-free if you wish to preserve them. Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas recommend brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice every day, as well as after meals, whenever possible. Keep a glass or bottle of water nearby when you eat to sip and rinse your mouth, especially if you can’t brush your teeth after the meal. For more information on maintaining a well-balanced diet, call or visit us as soon as possible to speak with Dr. Loukas.
About Your Park Ridge Dentists:
Though we can rebuild your smile if it’s compromised by cavities or gum disease, preventing such issues with improved dental hygiene can help you avoid the need for complex restorative treatment. Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are highly-skilled general, restorative, and implant dentists serving the Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule an appointment, call Loukas General Dentistry today at (847) 696-1919.