As we aspire to achieve a life of general good health and wellness let us not forget our mouths as part of the big picture.
You often hear that eating a well-balanced diet reduces your risk of things like heart disease and diabetes.
Eating a healthy diet is also good for helping you avoid cavities and gum disease. In order for your mouth to be healthy, it needs vitamins, protein, calcium and phosphorous – and you can get all of these from a healthy diet.
Certain eating patterns and food and drink choices can lead to tooth erosion, cavities and put you at risk for gum disease.
When you do not remove plaque from your teeth every day, it builds up. The bacteria in plaque create acid from eating sugar. This acid then attacks enamel of our teeth. The acid stays on the enamel for up to 20 minutes after you are finished eating and drinking. Eventually, your enamel can break down or wear away from these acids and cavities start to form. The bacteria in plaque can also effect the gums around the teeth, especially between the teeth.
That is why it is important to brush and FLOSS in order to remove this bacteria and prevent inflammation.
When you have sugary foods or drinks many times a day it exposes the enamel of your teeth to acid attacks throughout the day. This raises your risk of tooth erosion, cavities and possible gum disease.
Making healthy food and drink choices can help keep your mouth healthy which in turn can contribute to your overall wellness.
These include drinks such as soda, sports drinks, flavored waters, or even 100 % fruit juices.
Many foods and drinks – like apples, oranges, bananas, carrots and milk – naturally contain sugars and also have vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body needs to be healthy. To lower your risk of cavities, avoid foods – like candy and cookies – that contain a lot of sugar but few other nutrients. These foods and others like pretzels, chips, gold fish are also very sticky and can get caught in between teeth especially if we are not brushing and flossing regularly. Overtime this also contributes to the beginning of gum disease and inflammation.
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