You Are What You Eat—And So Are Your Teeth!

colorful vegetables at a farmers marketThey say “You are what you eat,” but did you know that the old adage is true for your teeth as well as your overall health? While brushing, flossing, and regular dentist appointments are important parts of maintaining good oral health, your diet also has an impact. It makes sense, after all—you use your teeth to chew, so what they’re chewing matters. 

Continue reading to learn more about the food/teeth connection and how you can feed your smile what it needs. We’re here to help with Cumming family dentistry services!

How Food Affects Oral Health

You probably know that you need to consume certain vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, from calcium (which strengthens bones), to B vitamins (which affect blood cell production and energy levels). You’re also probably aware that certain substances in your diet can have a negative effect, like eating too much sugar or saturated fat. Well, just like the rest of your body, your teeth and gums depend on the food you eat to get the good stuff they need to be strong, without the bad stuff that can make them weak. 

The Importance of Nutrition

Without the proper nutrients, your mouth is more vulnerable to infection. For strong teeth and healthy gums, make sure you’re getting enough of these foods:

  • Cheese, which contains calcium and protein that strengthen tooth enamel
  • Yogurt, especially probiotic varieties, which not only contain calcium and protein, but can also benefit the good bacteria in your mouth, making it harder for bad bacteria to thrive
  • Spinach, kale, arugula, and other leafy greens, which are a great source of calcium and folic acid, a B vitamin that contributes to healthy gums
  • Carrots and many other orange and yellow veggies contain vitamin A, which is important for gum health 

Aside from getting the right vitamins and minerals, you should also consider how the foods you eat physically affect your teeth. 

  • Crunchy fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, and celery are great snacks for your teeth because they stimulate saliva production, which helps to wash away food particles. Biting into an apple or celery stick can also help to dislodge food particles and bacteria, similar to a toothbrush (Don’t get too excited; you’ll still need to brush twice a day with an actual toothbrush.)
  • Try to eat only at mealtimes when possible. Eating a full meal stimulates saliva production which helps to wash away food particles and acids. 
  • Avoid sugary foods. The more sugar you eat, the more you’re feeding the “bad” bacteria in your mouth that can cause plaque. Keep in mind that it’s not just candy and sweets; many foods like bread and pasta also contain added sugar. 
  • Sticky foods are another hazard; items like taffy, caramel, and gummies tend to adhere to the surface of teeth and are more difficult to dislodge. All the while their sugars are feeding the bacteria that cause plaque! 

At Jordan Dentistry, we believe it’s important to educate our patients and empower them to make the best choices for their oral health. We’re always happy to answer questions, so don’t hesitate to ask. Give us a call at 770-888-6262 to schedule your next dentist appointment in Cumming, Georgia!

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