The mouth is the entry point of our bodies for the food we eat. However, we spend so much time worrying about our stomachs that few stop and think how their food choices affect their teeth. Everything you eat plays a role in the overall health of your teeth, and it is not enough to simply avoid sweets.
So, what is good nutrition for your teeth? The same as good nutrition for the rest of your body.
Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables at mealtime, moderation when eating sweets, avoid junk food. The same foods that are full of empty calories that are bad nutrition for your waistline and your heart are bad for your teeth. As a rule of thumb, the more you have to chew it, the better it is.
By eating healthy you can make sure that your body has the nutrients it needs to maintain mouth tissue, have resilient gums and produce saliva regularly. Saliva actually plays a huge role in the maintenance of good oral health. Saliva has a powerful, protective role in the oral cavity where it preserves the integrity of the soft tissues and increases the cavity resistance of the dental tissues. Minerals in saliva, such as phosphorus and calcium, also play a role in helping to reform the tooth enamel, a process known as remineralization.
Saliva is also a great example of how hygiene and nutrition can play a joint role in oral health. Tooth decay can be caused by and/or hastened by sugar levels in the mouth. If sugars are allowed to linger in the mouth for extended periods of time the tooth becomes more susceptible to infections. Therefore, it is important to try and stay away from sugar-loaded foods and sweets, but if you must, you should remember to chew your food thoroughly which activates saliva and make sure to rinse your mouth carefully with at least water (if you are not near a tooth brush). These items together can minimize sugar levels in the mouth and protect your teeth over the long-term.
Information on Nutrition and Oral Health in San Diego