Proper nutrition can benefit you in a number of ways; increased energy, improved immunity, glowing skin, mental clarity, and a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. How often, however, do you look at how your diet influences your oral health?
Your diet can impact your risk of cavities, enamel health, and gum condition. Healthy foods provide an environment that can prevent inflammation and infection. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts are the ideal choices for oral health. Calcium-fortified beverages, milk and other dairy products provide vitamins, minerals, and calcium that aids in keeping teeth, bones, and gums healthy. Eating crispy fruits and vegetables, such as apples and celery, will help clean your teeth and gums.
A healthy diet contains all the important vitamins and minerals, and the most important mineral for teeth is fluoride – especially for youth. Between the ages of 6 months and 16 years old, both the primary and the permanent teeth come in, therefore adequate fluoride is critical.
Don’t forget, however, that too much fluoride is detrimental. Dr. Gordon West can counsel you on the exact dosage of fluoride for your child, taking into account whether your municipal water is fluoridated.
Even though adults’ teeth have already formed, fluoride assists in remineralizing weakened enamel to a degree. This strong mineral is applied to teeth during extensive dental cleanings at Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry and daily with fluoride toothpaste.
Bacteria that causes enamel-destroying plaque love a steady diet of sugar – from soda, candy, and even fruit juices. When enamel wears away, the teeth become vulnerable to decay, cracks, and discoloration.
Sugary foods that are especially detrimental are those that get trapped in the spaces between teeth and the tiny pits and cracks in the molars. Candies that are chewy or hard can lodge in these spaces and allow for the adverse sugar to have direct contact with enamel until brushing occurs. Sticky candy can also damage braces and retainers. More than one retainer has fallen prey to sticky caramel or hard taffy.
Be sure to brush after each meal and before bed. In addition, remember to floss or use a water irrigating method to dislodge food particles trapped in spaces. By eating well, brushing properly, flossing regularly, and avoiding foods that stick to your teeth, you can have a beautiful smile for life. (And, hopefully, the physical stamina to complement that beautiful smile and the energy to enjoy both.)
I’m Dr. Gordon West, and I have a full-service dental practice in Lafayette. Helping my dental patients stay healthy is important to me, and so is helping them achieve the smile they want through cosmetic dentistry services such as veneers, teeth whitening and smile redesigns.
Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Lafayette has been serving the Boulder area including Boulder County, Louisville, and Broomfield, since 1998. Please contact us at 720-862-3630 if you are looking for exceptional dental care from a local Lafayette dentist with the experience, expertise and personalized attention you deserve.