The foods we eat and the drinks we consume are major factors in the health of your smile. In fact, what you eat and drink could have a major impact on the health of your teeth and gums. To reduce the risk of everything from cavities and bad breath to gum disease and tooth loss, then you need a healthier diet. Fortunately, your Astoria, NY, dentist has a few tips.
The Causes of Plaque and Tartar
Plaque buildup, which hardens into tartar over time, occurs when harmful oral bacteria break down particles left behind by the foods and drinks we consume. Oral bacteria are particularly fond of particles or sugar and starchy foods and drinks. The buildup causes demineralization, weakening and eroding the outer enamel, leading to tooth decay and dental infection. Plaque is also linked to gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis, and the onset of gum disease in some cases. Not to mention bad breath and stained teeth! To help fight the buildup and keep your smile healthy, you need more than brushing and flossing, you also need to eat a healthier diet.
Smile Healthy Beverages
Soda and energy drinks are high in sugar, leaving plenty behind for bacteria to consume. Sports drinks have a high level of acidity, which would weaken the outer tooth enamel. Even seemingly healthier options like fruit juices and smoothies could contain a surprising amount of sugar! We suggest enjoying these beverages in moderation, and instead opting for water when possible. Water is free of harmful ingredients and your tap water likely contains fluoride, which helps strengthen the outer enamel. Drinking water also helps rinse away particles from on and between your teeth!
Better Snack and Meal Options
When you need a snack, try to avoid candies, chips, and other options high in sugar and starch. Even options that seem healthy, like dried fruit, could cling to your teeth and contain a lot of sugar. Fresh fruit is great because in addition to healthy vitamins and minerals, they contain a high water content to help rinse away the sugars. You should opt for fresh veggies. In fact, rougher vegetables, like fresh broccoli and carrots, help remove plaque as you chew them. Other healthy snacks include low-fat yogurts, cheeses, whole grain breads and crackers, and sugar-free gum. Be sure to add plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to your meals as well!
If you have any questions about choosing healthy snacks and beverages, then contact our team today.
Do You Have Questions About Improving Oral Health?
Our team wants to take steps to protect your teeth and gums. To learn more about how you can help your smile stay strong from home, then schedule a consultation by calling Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, in Astoria, NY, today at 718-728-8320.