When most of us think about about dental health, we think about brushing and flossing daily. We also think about visiting the dentist regularly. However, when it comes to your dental health, what you eat is also very important.
Periodontal disease and tooth decay (dental caries) are two of the most common disease of modern civilization. They are also largely preventable with good oral hygiene and a proper diet. Tooth decay occurs when the teeth and surrounding tissues of the mouth are destroyed by acid products from harmful bacteria in the mouth. Certain foods and combinations of foods are linked to higher cavity-causing bacteria. Periodontal diseases is a chronic infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. When you do not eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, it can lower your immune system. This negatively affects your body’s ability to fight off infections, thereby making your more susceptible to periodontal disease and making the infection more severe.
Moderation and variety are two keys words when it comes to eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Before initiating any major changes in your eating habits, you should talk to your doctor. When planning your diet, choose foods from the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products and meat, chicken, fish or beans. Avoid fad diets that limit or eliminate entire food groups, which can result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Keeping your mouth moist by drinking lots of water and staying hydrated is also important. This will help your mouth to produce bacteria-cleansing saliva.
Foods that cling to your mouth promote tooth decay. If possible, limit or avoid eating foods such as sticky candies, sugary gums, and soft, sweet sticky cakes. Instead, snack on foods such as raw vegetables, nuts, cheese and plain yogurt.
If you want to get more information about how to eat to promote good oral health, talk to your dentist today. You can also consult guidelines for healthy eating from reputable organizations such as the American Dietetic Association and the National Institutes of Heath.
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