The recent trend towards more healthy eating is an example of a trend in the right direction. People should be eating more healthily. The food that you eat has a drastic effect on your health. Eating well will not just help you to live longer, but more importantly, it will help you to feel better. You will likely have more energy and fewer medical problems if you simply watch what you eat.
The hard part is choosing what is healthy to eat. Looking beyond fad diets and miracle health food crazes to find out what is really the best thing to eat can be a difficult task. For every health benefit a food offers, how many side effects does it have?
In Los Angeles, we have no shortage of health conscious people and businesses. Whatever the latest trend in healthy eating is, you will find it here. But at Westwood Dental Smiles, we want you to consider the effect that healthy foods have on your teeth. After all, part of being healthy is practicing healthy dental care. So before you take a bite of your healthy snack, take a moment to think about what it is doing to your teeth.
Citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons, are a staple of healthy eating. They taste great and are loaded with healthy vitamins, like Vitamin-C which helps boost your immune system, and fiber, which helps you process sugar. These health benefits are undeniable and citrus should be a part of any healthy diet.
But citrus can be bad for your teeth. Along with that Vitamin-C and healthy fiber comes a ton of sugar and acid. Natural sugars pose a risk to your teeth just like refined sugars do, and citric acid weakens your teeth’s enamel. This all points to one very negative outcome: tooth decay.
The sugar and acid in citrus can cause cavities, and if not treated, these cavities can develop into severe decay that will threaten the health of not only your teeth and gums, but your whole body, as well. Severe tooth decay can create an infection that can cause you to lose teeth and even bring on a fever, which is dangerous for your general health.
Don’t worry, though. It is fairly easy to counteract the tooth decaying properties of citrus without cutting oranges and lemons out of your diet. Just be sure to drink plenty of water to help rinse away the sugar and acid and keep it from sitting on your teeth just inviting decay. Of course, a regular brushing and flossing routine is essential to protect your teeth from decay, but don’t brush directly after eating citrus because brushing while the acid is still on your teeth could strip away enamel and damage your teeth.
Dehydrated fruits seem like a healthy choice for a snack, and while they are better for your overall health than candy and cakes, they can have a serious negative impact on your teeth. The issue again is tooth decay. As you already know, fruit is loaded with sugar, but the real danger of dried fruit is the texture. Dried fruits, like raisins and prunes, are chewy and sticky, and sticky sugar is harder to get off your teeth. The little bits of fruit will get caught in between your teeth and become a feast for the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Drinking water will help keep the sugar off your teeth, but it probably won’t be enough. You’ll need to brush your teeth soon. Flossing is also very important in this situation because you will need to get those sticky pieces of fruit out from between your teeth.
Nuts and Popcorn
They may be delicious. They may healthy. But they can also be hard on your teeth. Unsalted nuts and popcorn are a great alternative to greasy potato chips. However, you have to be careful because some nuts are hard, and popcorn has kernels. Either one of these can crack a tooth.
Although chipped and broken teeth are unsightly, this is not just a cosmetic issue. Even the smallest fracture can make a tooth more vulnerable to decay. The troublesome bacteria that cause decay are tiny enough to fit through the crack in your tooth and infect the soft pulp.
Regular visits to Westwood Dental Smiles will help keep your smile as healthy as the rest of your body. We will provide a deep cleaning and thorough examination, and then have a consultation with about what procedures might be appropriate for you.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
So, keep eating healthily and check back soon for part two of this blog series.