Everyone agrees that brushing and flossing are two of the most important things you need to do daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy. But do you know that what you eat and drink can also affect how your teeth will look? Every time you visit your Cheltenham dentist, they would always remind you to not only brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis but to also make a list of the foods that are going to increase your likelihood of developing tooth decay and plaque buildup so you can avoid them.
People often think that what we feed our bodies with will only show on our weight. While it’s true that what you eat will have a direct effect on your physical weight, not a lot of people are aware that what they chew in their mouths can also impact the state of their gums and teeth. You see, there are certain foods and drinks that help feed bacteria and as a result could lead to the development of dental caries. Plaque is a colorless film made up of bacteria that covers our teeth. If this is not removed daily through proper brushing, it could become the main cause of gum disease and cavities.
How do dental cavities develop?
It is worth mentioning that all of us develop plaque due to the bacteria that is constantly present in our mouths. These bacteria make use of the components in our diet as well as our saliva to thrive. Plaque can lead to the formation of cavities when the acids found in plaque starts attacking our teeth’s enamel after we eat. Without implementing a regular brushing and flossing habit, continual acid attacks will break down your tooth’s enamel thereby forming a cavity. If plaque is not removed, it can irritate your teeth and gums and this could lead to serious dental health problems such as tooth loss, bleeding and swollen gums and periodontal disease.
What are the foods and drinks you need to avoid?
Since you already know who the bad guy is – plaque – you should also know the factors that aggravate this build up and these are acids and sugars. These two are the main villains that are responsible for eroding your tooth’s enamel and creating dental cavities. Knowing what foods and drinks to avoid together with brushing and flossing will lead to a healthy oral health so you can smile confidently anytime, anywhere.
- Acidic Foods
Acidic foods are foods that have a low pH level. Consuming these foods on a regular could compromise your oral health because these foods contain ingredients that will attack your teeth’s enamel leading to cavities and inevitably tooth decay. When your enamel is brittle, not only are you going to suffer cavities, it will also cause you to experience teeth sensitivity as well as teeth discoloration. Foods and drinks that have a high acid content are tomatoes, coffee, alcohol, lemons and pickles. Foods that are considered low acidic include lean meat, eggs, nuts, cheese, bananas, avocados, whole grains, vegetables and broccoli.
- Sugary Foods
We have all been told to brush our teeth right after eating candy and there’s a good reason why. Sugar, in general, is not good for our teeth, which is why it is highly important that you brush it after consuming sugary foods. This is because the bad bacteria present in your mouth feed on sugars that result to the formation of acids and as mentioned previously, acids create cavities. Although it is impossible to totally eliminate sugars in our diet, the best course of action to avoid damaging your teeth is to minimize your intake of sugary foods and drinks. It is also important that after consuming sugary foods and drinks, never forget to brush your teeth because if sugar stays on for too long, it could attack your teeth. Your dentist will advise you to brush your teeth after every meal or if this is not possible, at least you should drink water after consuming acidic or sugary foods and beverages. Examples of foods that are high in sugar include desserts, cakes, ice creams, jams, cereals, dried fruit, soft drinks and candies.
The journey in preserving your oral health is a challenging one but if you start to make it a habit, it will not be as hard. Remember, brushing and flossing are not enough, you also need to be mindful about your diet.