April 24, 2017
It seems like most people only consider what they eat when they’re trying to lose weight or when some health condition arises. The fact is, what you eat can have just as much effect on your teeth as it does on your waistline.
At Synergy Dental Center in Gillette, WY, the health of your teeth is very important to us. Not only will we help keep your teeth healthy during your routine exams, we’ll give you some information about the type of eating that is healthy for your mouth.
We live in a busy world. Sometimes it’s just more convenient to stop off at a drive-thru on the way home from work to pick up dinner. Bad eating habits like that can show up in tighter clothes. They can also show up in your smile. Did you know that fast food can increase your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease?
At Synergy Dental Center, we’ve seen our share of dental issues that resulted from poor diet and poor oral hygiene. Fast food can lead to health problems such as obesity and diabetes, but it can also cause problems in your mouth. Just as the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.”
Why Fast Food Is Bad
Fast food is bad for your teeth because it’s starchy and contains added salt and sugar. Oral bacteria feasts on simple sugars and produces tough acids whenever you consume any food or beverage that contains carbohydrates. Plaque that forms in your mouth everyday keeps those acids in contact with your tooth enamel. The longer it remains in your mouth, the more time the tooth enamel has to become damaged.
Many patients believe that sugar is the absolute worst for your teeth, but salt can be just as aggravating. A high sodium intake is can increase the amount of calcium your body disposes of, which can lead to osteoporosis and tooth loss.
Junk foods commonly contain carbohydrates (found most often in crackers, cookies, sandwich buns, and chips). Carbohydrates present the perfect opportunity for those cavity-causing acids to take over your mouth.
What You Drink
How many times have you had a tall glass of milk with your burger and fries? Let’s fact it, fast food places are not known for their healthy drink options.
As it happens, soft drinks and sweet iced tea are some of the worst offenders in oral health, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. They contain sugar that combines with the bacteria in your mouth to form an acid that damages the enamel on your teeth. (Even diet soda contains acid that can cause damage.)
On The Move
Do you grab lunch through the drive-thru in route to somewhere else and eat that lunch in the car? When you do this, that means you’re not able to brush your teeth soon after the meal as is recommended. That means that debris has a longer time to stay on your teeth, which can cause more problems.
Your Overall Health
The ingredients in junk food and fast food are highly processed. Their ingredients increase the Glycemic Index and they’re more likely to cause tooth decay.
According to Diabetic Living Online, carbohydrates with a high GI value can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. Those levels peak one to two hours after you take the first bite. This is a big problem if you’re diabetic. Eating fast food on a regular basis can increase your risk of developing diabetes. In turn, people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.
If you care about your overall health and the health of your teeth and gums, try to eat a balanced diet. Try to follow a diet that doesn’t contain a lot of sugar and carbs. We also recommend that you limit your between-meal snacks.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for good dental health when choosing your meals and snacks:
- Eat foods from the five major food groups (vegetables, whole grains, fruit, lean proteins, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products).
- Drink lots of water.
- Cut down on snacking
Good oral hygiene is imperative for the health of your teeth and gums. Brush your teeth twice a day with a good fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly.
One of the best things you can do to ensure the health of your teeth is to schedule regular cleanings with Synergy Dental Center in Gillette, WY. We can keep your teeth clear of tartar and stay ahead of any developing issues we see.