Most people know that what they eat affects how they look and feel, but often the main concern when choosing what’s for dinner is the waistline. But did you know that your diet can also drastically affect your smile? If you want to enjoy a healthy smile, great dental hygiene and regular professional checkups and cleanings are crucial, for course. But it’s important to fuel your body and support your smile with a well-balanced diet and plenty of water. It’s also equally important to limit or avoid certain foods and beverages, which can be particularly troublesome for your teeth.
What to Eat for a Great Smile
Just as your body needs nutrients to become strong, your teeth also need vitamins and minerals. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, plus dairy and lean proteins can help you maintain a strong and healthy smile.
You also need to drink plenty of water, to help keep you hydrated and to produce saliva, which naturally helps keep your mouth healthy.
What to Avoid to Maintain Healthy Teeth and Gums
Sugar is one of the biggest threats to a healthy smile. That’s because the plaque bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar. If provided too much, the bacteria can create acidity, which wears on the enamel of your teeth. This decay is what causes cavities, and what can subsequently lead to tooth infections, which are the cause for root canal treatment.
But cavities aren’t the only dental issue often caused by too much sugar. Gum disease is another common dental condition, which is often incited by plaque buildup, and it’s one that can have severe consequences, like tooth loss.
Gum disease can also cause inflammation and irritation that has been linked to other health problems like heart disease and stroke. Luckily it’s largely preventable through great preventive care and a healthy diet.
Remember, sugar isn’t only in the sweet treats you enjoy. It’s also added to many packaged foods and many bottled beverages. So, read the labels and stick to no or low-sugar options whenever possible. Also, don’t rely on sodas and juices to drink throughout the day. Instead, make them a special treat and drink water the majority of the time. Your smile will thank you!