Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced diet so your body can get the nutrients it needs for good health. Not only does eating properly affect the body, but it is also an integral component of oral health. We all know that consuming certain types of foods and drinks can have an impact on our oral health, especially where tooth decay is concerned. Bacteria use carbohydrates for fuel, which means that as bacteria gain energy from sugar, they produce the enamel-eroding acids that cause tooth decay.
It also works the other way around too. What do you eat and drink if you already have dental issues such as braces, or have had oral surgery?
Making Wise Choices
It’s important to keep your nutrition and good dental health in mind when choosing your food. First, drink plenty of water. Water not only keeps you hydrated, but it also helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities. Drinking water with fluoride can help strengthen your teeth too.
Try eating a variety of foods from all the major food groups including grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.
Common Dental Issues
Braces - You have a long list of foods that you cannot eat if you have braces. Foods that are sticky, chewy, or hard can cause them to break. But what can you eat? Finding softer foods from the major food groups can be helpful, including pasta, soft bread, cooked vegetables, ripe fruits cut into bite-sized pieces, shredded or cut up chicken, fish, soft cheese, and yogurt. There are plenty of softer foods, which are nutritionally rich. Staying away from sugary foods is a good idea because it is more difficult to keep your teeth clean while wearing a dental appliance.
Oral surgery or implants - Anytime you are recovering from oral surgery, it is important to follow the doctor’s instructions on what you can eat. It is recommended that you stick to a soft or liquid diet, especially during the healing process. Again, this diet should be made up of foods from the major food groups. Scrambled eggs, oatmeal, soups with soft vegetables, smoothies, and well-cooked vegetables, can all be added to the list.
Eating nutrient-rich foods, avoiding smoking, drinking plenty of water, and limiting added sugars could go a long way in keeping your mouth healthy. Of course, along with this, a good oral hygiene routine, including brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly will make the circle complete.
We at Advanced Family Dentistry in Ankeny, are interested in your nutritional health. Our dentists and knowledgeable staff will help you to achieve your oral health goals. Call us today for an appointment.