Your Diet And Your Teeth
When people think about what they eat, they mostly think in terms of watching their waistline. Even then, in this busy world, it’s more convenient sometimes to just stop off at a drive-thru on the way home from work to pick up dinner.
Fast food is bad for your physical health and is definitely not doing much for your waistline. But did you know that fast food can also increase your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease?
At Gilbart Dental Care, we do know. We’ve seen our share of dental issues that resulted from poor diet and poor oral hygiene.
So the old saying “You are what you eat” holds true. Fast food can lead to health problems such as obesity and diabetes, but it can also cause problems in your mouth.
The Bad Stuff
Fast food is bad for your teeth because it’s starchy and contains added salt and sugar. When sugar comes into plaque in the mouth, the result is tooth decay.
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
Let’s fact it, fast food places are not known for their healthy drink options.
Soda and sweet iced tea are some of the worst offenders in oral health, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. The sugar in them combines with the bacteria in your mouth to form an acid that damages the enamel on your teeth. (Even diet soda contains its own acid that can cause damage.)
Fast Food And The Fast Lane
How many people grab lunch through the drive-thru in route to somewhere else and eat that lunch in the car? When you do this, you’re not able to brush your teeth soon after the meal as we recommend. Food debris sticks to your teeth. Fast food is more likely to stick to your teeth.
Your Overall Health
Junk food and fast food are highly processed. Their ingredients increase the Glycemic Index and they are more likely to cause cavities.
Also, carbohydrates with a high GI value can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. According to Diabetic Living Online, those levels peak one to two hours after the first bite. If you’re diabetic, this could be a huge problem.
Eating fast food on a regular basis can increase your risk of developing diabetes. Studies have shown that people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.
If your diet lacks certain nutrients, your body suffers. When your body is fighting a chronic condition, it becomes more difficult for the tissues in your mouth to resist infection. That, in turn, could lead to gum disease.
If you care about your overall health and the health of your teeth and gums, try to eat a balanced diet. Your diet shouldn’t contain a lot of sugar and carbs. It’s also smart to 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, including:
low-fat and fat-free dairy foods
- Drink lots of water. As we said, sodas are really bad for your teeth because they contain a lot of acid. Acid can reduce the surface of your tooth enamel.
- Cut down on snacking
It’s hard not to snack sometimes. When you snack, your mouth produces less saliva than it would during a regular meal. Since saliva helps wash food from the mouth, having less of it can harm teeth and tooth decay. If you find yourself wanting a snack, choose a piece of fruit or vegetables.
Be sure to practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day with a good fluoride toothpaste. Floss regularly.
One of the best things you can do to ensure the health of your teeth is to schedule regular cleanings with Gilbart Dental Care. We can keep your teeth clear of tartar and stay ahead of any developing issues we see.
You can use our online form to schedule an appointment. You can also call one of our three locations to set up an appointment at the office nearest you: