“We are what we eat” is a phrase that we hear often and that we can perfectly associate not only with health in general, but also with oral health in particular. When we think about food, we usually do so taking into account aspects of how it will affect our cardiovascular health, our weight, etc.
Does drinking water during meals fattening?
But we do little thinking about the effects they have on our teeth. We must also bear in mind that having good dental health does not only involve brushing teeth and regular visits to the dentist. Food can do a lot too.
How Eating Affects Your Teeth
A healthy diet goes a long way toward having healthier teeth and gums and helping to prevent more serious dental problems. Therefore, it is important that we stop using our teeth to eat and start eating for our teeth. Because the difference between a healthy smile and frequent visits to the dentist has a lot to do with eating.
Bacteria in the mouth convert the sugars and carbohydrates in the food we eat into acids, which are what attack the mineral structure of tooth enamel. Under ideal conditions, this will lead to cavities.
According to him Oral Health White Paper 2020, 65% of Spaniards admit that they have an oral problem. In addition to cavities, sensitive teeth, bleeding gums, teeth that move, and pain or difficulty opening and closing the mouth appear.
Strengthening teeth and gums is proven to be the best way to prevent oral diseases such as gingivitis, cavities, periodontal disease, bad breath, and tooth loss.
What are the best foods for our teeth?
Some of the main foods that have always been associated as the best for our oral health are “ginger, turmeric or tea, rich in a large amount of nutrients”, he acknowledges. Patricia bratos, orthodontist.
But, as the expert admits, they are not the only ones. We must make our diet as varied and balanced as possible, “rich in vitamins and nutrients that we need not only for the health of teeth and gums, but also for the body.” It is important to include in our diet:
- Raw fruits and vegetables: apples, cucumber or carrots contribute to the cleaning of the tooth surface. In addition, they contain vitamins and minerals, so valued for their great benefits. They also provide a large amount of water and fiber. Chewing raw fruits and vegetables, especially the crunchiest ones, stimulates the production of saliva to eliminate acids.
- Vitamin A: maintains the mucous membranes and salivary flow and helps the gums stay healthy. It also strengthens the enamel. Foods such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, fruits, vegetables and legumes will provide us with sufficient quantity.
- Vitamin C and K: It is important for periodontal health because it repairs key connective tissues to prevent gum inflammation. We must include foods such as red pepper, parsley, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kiwi, as well as chard, lettuce, cauliflower, etc.
- Vitamin B2: avoid the appearance of sores in the mouth with foods such as milk, cheese, egg white, green vegetables, whole cereals or fish.
- Proteins, calcium and vitamin D: they favor the correct formation of milk teeth. Foods like poultry, fish, eggs help to strengthen the teeth. Others, like dairy products (cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese) are high in calcium and a protein called casein, which helps neutralize the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.
- Water: Thinking about what we drink is also important for our teeth because it helps make them more resistant to acid attacks that cause cavities. Water also helps rinse your mouth, reducing bacteria, acid, and food particles on your teeth and gums.
From the General Council of Dentists They insist that no particular food or drink, even a very healthy one, substitutes fluoridated toothpaste for toothbrushing. “It is essential to maintain correct cleaning routines since hygiene is the basis of oral health,” says Bratos.
What, instead, are the foods that we should eat in moderation?
On the other side of the coin would be the foods that are best eaten in moderation, which are the following:
- Foods high in sugar: it is one of the main causes of dental problems (cavities) because bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults reduce sugar consumption to 5% of their daily caloric intake, which is equivalent to about 25 grams daily. It is important to reduce the consumption of sweets, industrial pastries, processed food or sugary drinks.
- Citrus and acidic: foods such as lemon juice, concentrated fruit juices, orange, etc. They can cause dental erosion, which translates into a decrease in the thickness of the enamel, which protects the tooth from external aggressions.
- Hard foods: the consumption of hard candies, lollipops or nougat can carry a risk of fracture, especially if we “make a lever movement”, recognizes Bratos. This can damage the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), especially if it suffers bruxism.
- Foods that stain teeth: wine, tea, coffee, berries, soy, or spinach can stain teeth.
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