When most people think about their diets, they think about how their food and beverage choices affect their waistline, the size of their pants, and the numbers on the scale. While your diet can certainly affect those, there is another area that is generally overlooked when it comes to dietary choices: the mouth. Everything you eat and drink enters the body through the mouth, so it is wise to pay attention to this relationship and how it affects your oral health.
On any given day there are millions of bacteria living inside your mouth. While this certainly sounds like something out of a horror movie (and it may encourage you to start brushing and flossing more!), these bacteria are there to help you out. Every time you eat and drink a beverage other than water there are small particles that are left behind in your mouth. The bacteria inside your mouth immediately go into action to help breakdown these particles and get rid of them. However, in the process of “helping” they begin to pose a threat to your oral health. As the bacteria are working they begin to produce acids in order to assist them with breaking down the food and drink particles. It is these acids that cause destruction inside the mouth. As with all acids, the acid produced from the oral bacteria will eat through anything that it in its path. Therefore, once the particles inside your mouth have been taken care of, the acids are still at work and will begin attacking your teeth and gums.
The most important thing to understand about the bacteria within your mouth is that they are most attracted to the sugars in the foods and beverages that you consume. The bacteria will congregate in large quantities where they find sugars, and they will over-produce acids in those places. This will quickly lead to the formation of cavities and tooth decay.
Your diet plays a huge role in your oral health. While brushing twice a day and flossing daily are essential for maintaining optimal oral health, your diet is another vital component. A healthy diet includes:
- Water as your main beverage – 8, 8-oz. glasses every day
- Fruits and vegetables in their natural state
- Lean sources of protein
- Dry beans and legumes
- Low-fat dairy products
At Smiles by Seese, we want to partner with you in all areas of your oral health. Call us today!