We brush. We floss. We use mouthwash. Is there anything else we need to do to keep our teeth happy and healthy?
Turns out, there’s a bigger link between what we put into our bodies and our oral health than we ever realized! Nutrition and oral health go hand in hand, but it’s not as simple as you might think.
Read on for our guide to nutrition and oral health.
What Is Oral Health?
To give oral health a definition, it is the general state of wellbeing of the mouth. It includes dental issues, but also gum diseases, tooth loss, and serious oral diseases such as cancer.
There’s a strong link between oral health and overall health. Most oral diseases can be controlled or improved by factors under our control.
Avoiding Tooth Decay
Let’s start with one of the most obvious links between nutrition and oral health. Since we were kids, trips to the dentist involved warnings against eating too much candy. It’ll rot your teeth, they said. And they were right.
Today, it’s not just candy we’ve got to watch. Lots of processed foods that we love to consume are high in sugar – even so-called savory ones. For example, spaghetti sauce may go with meat and pasta, but it’s often loaded with sugar.
The takeaway – always read the label. Don’t be mislead by things that claim to be healthy, but are secretly sugar-loaded.
Acidic Drinks Cause Erosion
The hard tissue on the outside of our teeth can be eroded over time. Once it has gone it is impossible to grow it back. To maintain good oral health, it’s crucial to avoid acid drinks that wear away this protective coating.
Popular soft drinks including soda and sports drinks seem to be a big cause of the problem. On the other hand, milk and yogurt, which contain calcium and phosphate, can have a protective effect. That’s only the unsweetened versions though.
The key point – for optimum oral health and overall health – swap out sodas and sports drinks for non-acidic alternatives, such as water.
Oral Health and Heart Disease
The mouth is the gateway to the body. There is now increasing evidence that oral health and heart disease are strongly related. This is because bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream. This can in turn infect the heart valves, leading to heart disease.
People with chronic gum diseases such as gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease are at the highest risk. The link between oral health and nutrition? Those with poor nutrition are most at risk. They lack essential nutrients to maintain healthy gums.
Eat Healthily for Good Oral Health
We all want to have a dazzling smile and sweet breath. But as we’ve seen, oral health includes keeping a close eye on nutrition. If you have good oral health, you can consider cosmetic dental treatments such as Invisalign.
Is Invisalign right for you? How much does Invisalign cost? Your dentist will be happy to discuss these questions and more with you. But first, make sure your oral health is top-notch.
Nutrition and Oral Health – The Undeniable Link
There’s never been stronger evidence to show that nutrition and oral health are inextricably linked. It’s an even more powerful incentive to keep making good food choices.
Eat a wide range of foods. Get all your nutrients. Reduce your intake of processed, sugary foods and you’ll see your oral health go from strength to strength.
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