A smile can melt many hearts, and it is important to take care of your teeth to keep that smile ‘continuing’! To ensure good oral health, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day, float daily and see a dentist regularly. But it is also important to take a look at your diet habits as it contributes to your dental health or illness. To maintain good oral health and hygiene, there are certain healthy foods to avoid and healthy foods included in the diet.
Foods that can harm oral health Foods to prevent tooth decay
Throughout the ages we have heard from our elders – “Don’t eat chocolate and sweets, it will cause tooth decay.” But it’s not just sweets that can cause tooth decay. It is simple sugars that cause plaque-forming bacteria as well as cavities. The common carbohydrate diet refers to all naturally occurring sugars (fructose, lactose, galactose) and added sugars (from table sugar to sucrose). These, when isolated by bacteria by the fermentation process, produce acidic tribal products (organic acids) that cause tooth decay. Calcium hydroxyapatite present in the hard tissue of teeth is directed towards the cavity in acidic media diss
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Eating acidic foods in addition to common sugars causes tooth enamel to decay and these become more susceptible to decay and sensitization. It occurs without the involvement of bacteria. Nature’s sticky foods can be even more risky; The effect of saliva purification and acid neutralization is not sufficient as the particles stick to the surface.
Expert Tips and Practices for Good Oral Health | Dietary exercises for good oral health
So, what can one do to maintain good oral health? First, try not to snack all day! Every time you eat or drink something, wash your face and if you can’t spit, probably splash it. Avoid excessive consumption of sweet, fizzy aerated drinks and other acidic foods. It is also important to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Studies have shown that eating fruits and vegetables reduces the incidence of dental caries.
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It has been found that those who have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) problems – where the stomach acid content is refluxed in the esophagus and oral cavity – are more likely to have problems with tooth enamel erosion. To take care of this, the underlying problem of GERD must be solved. See your doctor and take corrective action. According to the diet, one must avoid heavy meals and opt for smaller frequent meals. The ‘in-bound’ breakfast must be basically a vegetable salad, soup or fruit. Hydrate yourself, get enough sleep and exercise. Avoid fried fatty foods and foods with harsh textures.
We all know that maternal nutrition plays an important role in determining the health of the fetus. Maternal malnutrition due to insufficient mineral deposits leads to dental depression in the fetus. It has been found that malnourished people are more prone to periodontal disease.
Thus, a balanced diet is a way to help prevent tooth decay as well as gum disease. The fiber present in fruits and vegetables helps in restoring oral health. This is why increased consumption of fiber-rich foods should be encouraged. A meta-analysis shows a lower risk of oral cancer associated with eating fruits and vegetables.
About the author: Mrs. Shalini Arvind is the Chief Dietitian at Fortis Hospital, Bangalore. He holds a Masters in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Mysore. He is also a registered dietitian with 17 years of experience and a certified diabetes educator.
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