The saying, “You are what you eat,” truly is applicable to your gums and teeth.
Whenever we consume starch and sugar, our mouth comes in contact with sticky, invisible bacteria better known as plaque. This covers almost all the surfaces of the teeth.
When this happens, the acids can attack the teeth. If this occurs frequently, the hard enamel of the teeth may be destroyed. This may advance to tooth decay. Plaque is also the reason why some people encounter issues with their gums and/or bones that support the teeth.
Even though some foods may cause tooth decay, there are also types of foods that can combat plaque accumulation. Some of the foods that are not only good for you but also good for the gums and teeth include:
Fiber-rich vegetables and fruits
- These foods help stimulate the flow of saliva. In addition, they have a detergent-effect in the mouth. Fruits and vegetables are also equipped with vitamins and nutrients the teeth need to stay strong
Foods and beverages that contain fluoride
- Examples of foods and drinks that come with fluoride include fluoridated drinking water, dehydrated soups, and powdered juices. But only consume the ones that do not contain much sugar. Other foods that can provide fluoride include seafood, poultry products, and powdered cereals.
Plain yogurt, milk, cheese, and other dairy products
- These foods contain phosphates and calcium which are regarded as vital minerals for the teeth. These foods also help stimulate the flow of saliva. Additionally, dairy products contain good bacteria or probiotics that can combat bad bacteria in the mouth and body.
Sugar-free chewing gum
- Chewing gum helps stimulate the flow of saliva and can help get rid of food particles trapped in the mouth.
Black and green teas
- Both teas contain polyphenols which have the ability to interact with plaque bacteria. In fact, these substances can kill bacteria. Further, this inhibits them from developing or producing acid that attack the gums and teeth. Tea is also a great source of fluoride.
For you to maintain good oral health, you should be very watchful of what you eat. As much as possible, refrain from consuming sweets and sticky candies, carbonated soft drinks, substances that can dry out the mouth (e.g., medicines and alcohol), and starchy foods.
While sports drinks may sound healthy, take into account that sugar is one of the top ingredients for most energy and sports drinks. In short, your gums and teeth are more likely to suffer if you consume these types of drinks frequently.
Admittedly, there are times when we can’t help but consume so-called foods that are not good for the teeth and gums. Just be sure that you rinse with water (if brushing and flossing are impossible at the moment), brush, and floss after consuming these foods. This way, sugar and starch won’t have as detrimental of results on your oral health.
Consider consulting your dentist or health care provider about the medications you are currently taking especially, if this is the main cause of your dry mouth. You may request for fluoride gel to use when brushing your teeth or a fluoride rinse.