If you are already brushing and flossing your teeth, and keeping up with your regular routine of professional cleanings, but you’re still looking to improve your oral health, then it might be time to take a look at your diet. Although we may not realize it, everything that we eat and drink can affect our smiles. Keep reading to learn more from our Saint Louis dentists.
The key to optimizing your oral health through diet is to limit harmful substances, and load up on health-boosting alternatives.
Sugar is one of the most detrimental substances when it comes to oral health. The bacteria that cause cavities, gum disease, and bad breath actually feed on sugar. So, when you reach for that soda or candy bar, you’re giving harmful oral bacteria more fuel to grow and multiply.
Acidic substances are likewise potentially problematic. When dental enamel is exposed to acid, it becomes temporarily weakened. During this period of time, the enamel can become damaged, or thin. Enamel remains weakened for about twenty to thirty minutes after you finish eating or drinking; during this time try not to brush your teeth, as the bristles may be too abrasive.
Drinking plenty of water, and rinsing your mouth with water after exposing your teeth to these substances, can help to minimize the damage that sugars and acids can do. Rinsing your mouth minimizes the amount of time that sugar/acid is allowed to sit on your enamel. And, when you drink water, you jump-start saliva production in your mouth. Because saliva helps to neutralize bacteria and re-mineralize dental enamel, it’s important that you stay well hydrated.
Keep these things in mind when you’re eating and drinking each day; you may be surprised at how impactful making a few simple tweaks can be.
To learn more about how foods and drinks affect oral health, or to schedule a personal consultation with our Saint Louis dentists, please call or office! You can also use the Contact Us page on our website to submit a question for our team, and we’ll get back to you promptly.