Foods for a Healthy Oral Environment

Feb 15th, 2012 | By | Category: More dental news, Preventive Dentistry

oral environmentHow to maintain a healthy oral environment is crucial to your overall well being.

When it comes to keeping your mouth healthy, one of the most important factors is preventing an acidic environment. When acidic conditions are present in your mouth, the body steals minerals from its own teeth to counteract the acids. This process, known as demineralization, destroys the tooth enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay. In addition to regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings, maintaining a balanced pH level in your mouth can go a long way in preventing oral health problems. Here’s a list of foods and drinks you should and should not eat to keep your mouth healthy.Your oral health,oral environment is mostly controlled by the methods of prevention you apply and by your eating habits.

Foods You Should Eat

  • Raw fruits and vegetables. Biting and chewing these crunchy foods helps clean plaque from teeth. These foods also stimulate saliva production, which neutralizes any acids present on the teeth.
  • Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. Spinach, broccoli, strawberries, and citrus fruits all contain antioxidants, including vitamin C, that protect the oral mucosa from bacterial infection.
  • Cheese. The calcium in cheese mixes with the plaque that is already on your teeth, neutralizing the acid and remineralizing your tooth enamel. Cheese is a great “dessert” after a meal for this reason.
  • Yogurt. The cultures in yogurt help regulate the balance between good and bad bacteria in the body, and the calcium has a protective effect on tooth enamel.
  • Water. As a dry mouth is more prone to bacteria growth, drinking water helps hydrate the mouth and also washes away some of the food debris that is left behind after eating. Fluoridated water also helps remineralize the teeth and counteract the effects of acid erosion.

Foods You Should Limit or Avoid Entirely

  • Sugars. The worst offender when it comes to erosion of the tooth enamel, sugar in the form of cookies, cake, and candy should be avoided or only consumed occasionally.
  • Starches. Technically, starches are sugars, but we list them separately because many people do not know that they can cause the same damage as table sugar. Starches include starchy vegetables, grains, and bread products and should be eaten in conjunction with a meal.
  • Fruit juices, wine, and carbonated drinks. These beverages are highly acidic and damage tooth enamel.

How to Snack Properly

You produce more saliva during big meals, so it’s best to consume any acidic foods or drinks with a meal to minimize acid erosion. If you must snack between meals, choose foods such as cheese, fruits, and vegetables to ensure you do not create an acidic environment in your mouth. Try to avoid eating hard candies or any other acidic substance that sits in the mouth for a long period of time.

To learn more about keeping your mouth balanced and healthy, your oral health optimal, call Dr. Moiceanu today at (510) 758-2222 to schedule a consultation. At Hilltop Family Dental, we happily treat patients in Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, and Benicia.

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