Did you know that what you eat effects how healthy your mouth is? What’s especially important is how you clean your mouth after eating those pesky foods. The food residue doesn’t go away just because you swallow it – which is where most people become confused and forget to thoroughly clean. Poor nutrition can be harmful to more than just your waistline.
Immediate Effects Seen by the Consumption of Food
Did you know that the minute you eat something, it can have immediate effects on your mouth? Once the acid hits, your mouth can become susceptible to cavities quite quickly.
It happens through the process of breaking down the fructose, glucose, lactose, and maltose within your body. A fermentable carb will break down in the mouth, whereas others break down in the digestive tract. When there are particular types of bacteria on your teeth, acids are produced, leaving the minerals to dissolve the enamel on your teeth. Eventually, when your teeth aren’t properly cared for, your teeth can suffer from demineralization and promote decay.
Acids on the teeth stick around in your mouth for about 30 minutes before they start to go away. If you’re someone who drinks soft drinks all day long, as well as coffee, you may have this type of acid in your mouth constantly, not allowing your mouth a break. There are some foods that help protect your teeth, and those who snack between meals more than those who eat the same number of snacks as they do meals will see more decay.
Long-Term Effects of Food in Your Mouth
Since your mouth is one of the most susceptible areas for disease from poor nutrition, it’s important you take care of the teeth to prevent losing your teeth prematurely. Gum disease and periodontal issues can loosen the teeth from the gums because of bacteria pockets, making you lose them quicker.
Best Things to Eat
The official Dietary Guidelines for Americans as developed by the United States’ Agricultural Department and Human Services Department states that you should meet the following dietary needs:
- Whole grains should be incorporated daily, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal
- Better vegetables, orange veggies and dark green are the best
- A fruit variety sprinkled throughout your meals
- Nuts, beans, seeds, and fish are the best sources of protein
- Moderate your sugar intake daily
- Prepare foods with less sodium
- Alcoholic beverages in moderation
- Try to be at a healthy weight and active
There are guidelines that the USDA has promoted recently for preventing tooth decay, including the following:
- Limit in-between snacking to reduce the amount of acid your mouth is exposed to
- Choose foods that do not contain or are not fermentable carbs
Best choices of food include: chicken, milk, nuts, cheese, as they protect enamel
Moderate choices are pears and apples, as they contain natural sugars, but can stimulate the saliva flow for antibacterial matters
Worst choices include anything like candy, cookies, muffins, chips, bananas, dried fruits
- Avoid candies that are hard, as well as mints
- Acidic foods you should avoid include citrus fruits or sodas
- Brush your teeth a half hour after eating to protect enamel but remove bacteria and acids
If you want to speak more with a professional on protecting your teeth from acids, contact Smiles Dentistry at 416-588-8004 today.