What is the relationship between Diet and Oral Health?
You probably already know that eating a healthy, balanced diet is one of the most foundational things you can do to support your overall wellness, but did you know that your food choices can also affect the health of your teeth and gums? Of course, regular dental check ups, flossing and brushing your teeth regularly are all important to maintain great oral health, but it’s also important to consider that anything you eat or drink has a direct effect on your oral health. A poor diet can lead to oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Here are a few tips for eating your way to a healthy mouth:
1) Minerals to build and maintain strong teeth
Eating lots of phosphorus and calcium rich foods will support healthy gums and teeth. Starting from infancy, dietary phosphorus and calcium are essential for the development and formation of strong teeth into adulthood. Rich sources of calcium include dairy, fortified soy drinks and tofu, salmon, dark leafy greens, and almonds. However, calcium alone can’t build strong teeth; phosphorus is needed to maximize calcium’s tooth-building effect. Eating eggs, dairy, meat, fish, legumes and nuts will help your body get the phosphorus needed for your body to optimize calcium uptake.
2) Vitamins for happy gums and mineral absorption
A diet that supports oral health should include plenty of sources of Vitamins C and D. Essential for healthy gums and soft tissues in the mouth, Vitamin C is provided by foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, spinach and potatoes. Vitamin D is also vital for a healthy mouth as it supports the absorption of important oral health minerals like phosphorus and calcium. Without it, the entire mouth would be calcium deficient leading to underdeveloped teeth, tooth decay, and gum disease. Incorporate Vitamin D into your diet by eating dairy, eggs, and fish or fish oils.
3) A healthy mouth snacks wisely
Becoming conscious about your snacking habits can support the strength and health of your gums and teeth. Try to reduce snacking between meals when possible and avoid sugary treats, especially for children who are building the foundations of their oral health. A healthy mouth requires essential vitamins and nutrients that can be provided by the foods we eat. Nutritious snack choices that will support your oral health might include raw vegetables, fruits, plain sugar-free yogurt or popcorn. Brushing or rinsing your mouth after snacks and meals can help keep cavities at bay.
Eat your way to a healthy smile
When it comes to oral health, regular brushing and flossing is essential but insufficient on its own. In addition to brushing, flossing and regular dental check ups, the development and maintenance of healthy teeth and gums can be supported by our diets. Making sure you get enough vitamins and minerals through the food you eat, and make informed, intentional dietary choices will prevent common unwanted oral health issues. Remember to brush often and eat well for optimal oral health! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your Saskatoon dentist at Acadia Dental Clinic. We’re here for you!