When we begin a discussion with patients in our Nashua, NH office, about the connection between what you eat and the effect it has on your oral health, there is a good chance that sugar is one of the first things mentioned. Sugar is certainly one of the bad guys when it comes to your oral health, there are several other things worth talking about. There are many ways that the foods you eat affect your teeth, but some of it is actually good news. Keep reading, and then give us a call at 603-546-7460 to schedule your next appointment.
How Sugar Causes Cavities
Before we discuss the others, let’s first review the impact sugar has on your teeth. After all, it’s too significant to skip over. What makes sugar so harmful is that the bacteria on your teeth and gums feed on it and turn it into dangerous, acidic plaque. Plaque is sticky and clings to your teeth, where the acids within it begin to dissolve the outer layer of your teeth called enamel.
When your enamel breaks down leaving a hole in your tooth, you are left with a cavity. If that cavity isn’t treated soon enough, the bacteria can then get into this hole in your tooth and start to destroy the inside of it. At this point, you will experience toothaches and abscesses that require more invasive treatment from your dentist.
To avoid these oral health complications, you should limit the amount of sugar you consume as much as possible. When you do indulge in sugary foods or drinks, be sure to brush and floss thoroughly.
Get Enough Vitamin C but Be Aware of the Acid
If you are wondering what you should eat to keep your teeth healthy, focus on getting enough vitamin C. Foods like citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, and dark leafy greens are loaded with vitamin C. By nourishing your body with enough vitamin C, you help keep your immune system strong so you can fight off infections, while maintaining good oral health.
However, if you are getting most of your vitamin C from citrus fruits, you could be exposing your teeth to a harmful amount of acid. Fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit are very acidic. Consuming too much acid can erode the enamel of your teeth and lead to tooth decay.
Strengthen Your Teeth with Dairy Products
For a healthy snack that will fill you up, provide you with essential nutrients, and strengthen your teeth, reach for dairy products. Foods like cheese, milk, and plain yogurt are loaded with calcium and phosphates that provide your teeth with the minerals they need to stay strong and rebuild tooth enamel. Just be sure to avoid added sugar and processed food products.
To learn more about how you can keep your teeth strong and your mouth healthy, call Nashua Family Dentistry at 603-546-7460. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. We can also help you schedule your next checkup and cleaning, to be sure your teeth stay as healthy and radiant as possible.