When we think of food that is bad for our oral health, we often think of sweets and candies. It’s true, excess sugars do contribute to poor oral health. But did you know that many other foods, if eaten too frequently or at inappropriate times, can be detrimental to our oral health. The oral health problems associated with foods are primarily cavities—although gum disease and its more detrimental parent periodontal disease could also develop because of the foods we eat. Cavities are caused from a buildup of plaque on the surfaces of the teeth. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria—when a person eats or drinks, plaque bacteria covert those sugars into an acid that can eat away at tooth enamel. Plaque is removed when you brush and floss your teeth. But, what if it’s midday, and you aren’t going to brush your teeth until evening? That means that any food that is consumed during this gap between brushings is exposing your teeth to plaque. While it’s not practical, nor recommended, to brush all day everyday, here are a few helpful tips to balance your oral health with your eating habits.
Billings Best Dentist Talks About Snacking & Oral Health
If you are going to consume sweets, it is best to consume it at meal time. The reason it’s beneficial, is because when you are already consuming a meal, your salivary glands are working at a high rate. So, when you consume sweets, the saliva in your mouth, which, among other things, is responsible for carrying these sugars from the surfaces of the teeth, is working efficiently.
Certain snacking habits are healthy and beneficial to our bodies. But make sure to snack smart. Even fruits and vegetables contain natural occurring sugars, while sports drinks, sodas, and processed foods, contain added sugars. Snack efficiently and try not to snack all day every day. If possible, try to eat normal meals, and snack once, maybe twice a day. If you are eating smaller meals throughout the day, your mouth is overworked, trying to rid the sugars from the surfaces of the teeth. Drink plenty of plain water as this will help to keep your mouth clean as well as keep your salivary glands working appropriately.