“You are what you eat” – we’ve all heard this with respect to our health. But how often do you apply this to your oral health? What you eat builds the foundation of the structure and functions of every cell in your body. However, the food you eat affects your mouth before it even gets to the rest of the body! Tooth decay affects almost everyone, and is in fact the most common chronic childhood disease. Tooth decay begins with bacterial plaque biofilms on the teeth. These sticky biofilms are homes for the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. As we eat, the bacteria comes into contact with the food in the mouth which causes the build-up of cavity-causing acid.. Foods that contains high proportion of sugars or acids are more likely to contribute to tooth decay.
What are the common factors of tooth decay?
- Sugary Foods –Sugary foods are the best friends of your mouth’s bacteria. If there is an high intake of sugary products, the bacteria in your mouth started to feed on the sugar, creating acid. This acid slowly wears away at the protective enamel layer of the tooth. This is why it’s recommended to brush your teeth soon after each meal to eliminate the unnecessary sugar and acid present in your mouth. Candies and sodas are obvious culprits as they contain high sugar and acid content, it is important to be mindful of other foods or drinks that can still impart some damage to the teeth. For example, tea and coffee are often acidic in nature, and become even worse for your teeth if you enjoy them with sugar! but there are also food that has hidden sugars on them just like your ordinary orange juice, so always be mindful of what you buy and eat. Make it a habit that you always check the nutritional label of each food item.
- Acidic Food and Drink – Even foods and drinks that do not have sugars can be acidic in nature. Diet soda are some of the most acidic things we consume – they can dissolve the enamel of your teeth even without the presence of sugars.
Secrets of Healthy Snacking
In a fast-paced world it is more important than ever to maintain a well-balanced diet. Snacking smarter starts with shopping smarter, which isn’t always easy. Here are some easy to remember tips to start smarter snacking.
- Chew your Cheese -According to a study published in the journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry, it is reported that eating cheese can raised the pH level in the mouth thus lowering the risk of tooth decay. Cheese is also rich in calcium and protein that helps in strengthening the teeth.
- Eat your Greens – Leafy greens such as kale and spinach are rich in Vitamin B and calcium. This can fight in gum disease in pregnant women, and also strengthen your bones. It’s as easy as tossing in an extra handful of spinach in your next salad or smoothie!
- Get Nutty – Nuts have tremendous amounts of fiber, folic acid calcium, and other vitamins. Specifically, almonds and walnuts are found to be beneficial because they are loaded with folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium and zinc.
The most important thing is to keep your teeth and your mouth clean! Eating an apple won’t hurt at all if you are sure to rinse your mouth out soon after.
Remember, a healthy mouth is the first step to a healthy body, so don’t forget to see your Energetic Smile team regularly!
Q: What causes dry mouth?
A: There are several causes of dry mouth. Dry mouth can be caused by many medications, especially medications for high blood pressure or for diabetes. Dry mouth is also linked with aging. If your dry mouth is medication-induced, do not stop taking your medication without consulting with your physician.
Q: Why is my dry mouth worse at night?
A: Nighttime dry mouth is very common, especially among people who breathe out of their mouths when they sleep. In addition, those who use devices for sleep apnea, like a CPAP machine, often experience more severe dry mouth.