The food we eat determines our health and obviously, they include oral health too. Food can either help the wellbeing of our oral region or can accelerate its deterioration. Oral health is directly proportional to the non-presence of plaque. The more the plaque buildup, the higher chances of tooth decay. If tooth decay is left unattended to, gingivitis and periodontitis follow. So what we eat is very important.
Oral bacteria form a thin layer on our teeth. They form a biofilm to cover the surface of the teeth. The food we eat matters to this biofilm of bacteria. If the food is rich in sugar, they come in contact with the plaque and react. The bacteria in the plaque utilizes the sugar and converts them to acid which attacks the enamel layer of the teeth. The plaque can harden and become tartar. When the plaque mounts a relentless attack on the enamel of the tooth, the tooth starts to decay.
(1) Crunchy and Healthy Foods – Food like celery, apple, homemade popcorns, etc., are good to remove the plaque from the surface of the teeth. These crunchy food force us to chew more producing more saliva. More saliva washes down the plaque and keeps the teeth healthy.
(2) Milk and other dairy products – Diary products have calcium in them which helps teeth in their re-mineralization process. The teeth constantly lose calcium and get them deposited. This is a normal process that takes place in everyone. More calcium intake can balance this process. Cheese additionally forms a thin film around the teeth which is said to protect them.
(3) Fatty Fish – Certain fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin-D and phosphorous. Vitamin-D is absolutely essential to fix the calcium in our body. An effective calcium deposition aids in stronger teeth.
(4) Nuts – Nuts have essential oils, proteins, vitamins and minerals that are good for the body. They reduce the craving for sugary food which is a very important factor when it comes to protecting the teeth.
(5) Water – The presence of the right amount of fluoride in water fights tooth decay. Water also helps in rinsing the mouth thoroughly so that plaque is kept at bay.
(1) Sweets and Sugary Food – Anything sweet and full of sugar is not right to the teeth. The sugar in such foods is used by the bacteria to produce acid which attacks the enamel of the teeth.
(2) Starchy and Carb-rich food – Any food that is rich in simple carbohydrate and starch are also basically sugar. They actually break down as sugar which is unhealthy for the teeth. The simple carb has to be replaced by complex carb for our energy needs.
(3) Carbonated and Sports Beverages – Besides being heavy in sugar, these beverages are also acidic in nature, a double disaster indeed. The acidity can damage the teeth irreversibly.
(4) Sticky Foods – Candies, certain chocolates, certain dry fruits are sticky in nature and have the potential to remain in the teeth and its crevices for long. This can trigger more bacterial action which is harmful to the teeth
(5) Alcohol – Alcohol causes dry mouth. Saliva has a rinsing action on the teeth and measures to deprive saliva can have an opposite effect. A dry mouth caused by alcohol consumption can make bacteria thrive in the oral region which is bad news for oral hygiene.