Your Smile Is What You Eat

Learn how to keep your smile healthy from your Ann Arbor dentists. nutiriton

Brushing twice a day is important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but so is eating right. In a sense, your smile is what you eat. When you eat right, your teeth will benefit. Consuming unhealthy foods can contribute to the development of gum disease and tooth decay. Healthy foods, on the other hand, can help strengthen your teeth. At Walcott Dental, Dr. Wayne Walcott and Dr. Brett Walcott are your Ann Arbor, MI, dentists. They can help you maintain a healthy smile with regular dental checkups.

Sugary Foods & Drinks

Limiting the number of sugary foods and drinks you consume is not only better for your overall health, but for your teeth as well. Sugar mixes with the bacteria in your mouth and creates acid that can break down tooth enamel. When tooth enamel is weakened, the teeth become more susceptible to decay. Additionally, many sugary foods and drinks, such as candy, stick to the teeth, which prolongs exposure of tooth enamel to the damaging acid that forms. It is best to limit consumption of things like soda, candy, donuts, cookies and other similar treats.

Acidic Foods & Drinks

Acidic foods and drinks can be problematic for teeth. Just like sugary items, acidic foods can also damage tooth enamel and increase susceptibility to tooth decay. Unfortunately, even healthy foods, like citrus fruits, are quite acidic and can damage tooth enamel. Other acidic foods include tomatoes and tomato sauces, as well as salad dressings, pickles and other foods containing vinegar. As far as drinks, wine can be quite acidic and potentially problematic for teeth. To best protect the teeth, it is a good idea to limit how often you eat acidic foods.

Caffeine & Alcohol

Beverages containing caffeine or alcohol can cause problems for your teeth and your breath. Both alcohol and caffeine tend to be very drying to the tissues in the mouth. When the mouth is too dry, there is not enough saliva to clear out bacteria. This gives harmful bacteria the opportunity to multiply. Too much bacteria can lead to poor oral health. A dry mouth or bad breath, despite not having eaten anything offensive, can be signs that bacteria is running amuck.

Healthy Foods for Teeth

Even though many foods and beverages can weaken tooth enamel and ultimately adversely affect your smile, there are still plenty of foods that help. Foods and drinks that are rich in vitamins, calcium or phosphorus can promote strong and healthy tooth enamel. Foods that can benefit your smile include fish, meat, eggs, cheese, leafy greens and almonds. Additionally, regular checkups with your Ann Arbor dentist will also keep your teeth their healthiest.

In many ways, your smile really is what you eat. For healthier teeth, limit the amount of sugary, acidic, caffeinated or alcoholic items in your diet. Be sure to visit your Ann Arbor, MI, dentist regularly, as well. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Wayne Walcott or Dr. Brett Walcott, call Walcott Dental at (734) 994-3700.

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