With the end of the year fast approaching, now’s the time to start thinking your New Year’s Resolutions. For lots of people, getting that promotion at work or investing more into your family are one of many resolutions you have planned out. However, let’s add great dental health to the list as well.
Why dental health? Your smile is the first thing that represents you wherever you go, and it’s also plays its part in your overall wellbeing. To keep up that smile, everyone knows that starts with brushing twice and flossing daily, as well as visiting their dentist a minimum of once every 6 months for a thorough cleaning. But wait, there’s more. What we don’t get to talk about too often is the foods that are either good or bad for your dental health. Today, we’d like to highlight how your diet affects your teeth, and what you can do to start eating right even before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s.
Plaque is Your Teeth’s Worst Enemy
Before you start preparing foods for your holiday meals, let’s shine light on the big culprit posing harm to your teeth � plaque. Plaque is a thin, soft layer that slowly builds on top of your teeth and traps sugars that hit your teeth. It’s the job of the bacteria living inside your mouth to break these sugars down, resulting in an acid that is responsible for tooth decay, enamel erosion and close to all dental problems. We fight plaque daily by brushing our teeth when we wake up and before we go to bed, and for the cautious types, after meals. Plaque will always try to build back up, so it’s our job to learn what foods/drinks are the best and worst for our teeth, so we have the edge on achieving better dental health.
Avoid Foods with High Acidity Levels
Our teeth are extremely sensitive, and it doesn’t help when put in front of us are highly acidic foods and drinks. Acidic foods – including lemons, pickles, grapes, alcohol and coffee � being eroding your teeth’s enamel the moment they have contact. Enamel does not grow back naturally, which can lead to bigger problems such as cavities and tooth decay.
To combat highly acidic foods, you can always purchase an enamel strengthening toothpaste from your local market, and eat less acidic foods � not limited to vegetables, whole grains, eggs, and lean meats.
Watch out for Foods High in Sugar
As we’ve highlighted before, sugar is a main accomplice of plaque. The first step to weakening the threat of plaque is to reduce the amount of foods you eat with high concentrations of sugar. More importantly, it’s best not to let sugar settle inside your mouth for long. Brushing your teeth between meals and drinking lots of water is important to consider.
Foods that you need to watch out for includes raw sugar, candies, and other desserts. Be sure to skip out on the sodas and other sugary drinks as well. Healthy alternatives packed with flavor includes sweet potatoes, yogurts, apples and shiitake mushrooms.
Keep Away from Foods that Dry Your Mouth
Saliva is your mouth’s toughest defense system to prevent anything harmful to your teeth. Saliva is a natural base that neutralizes acid secreted by bacteria, aiding in the fight against gum disease and tooth decay. Let’s not forget saliva washes away plaque momentarily and helps re-mineralize your teeth. However, dry mouth heavily impairs salivation, and you need to make sure that doesn’t happen.