Dr. Etienne Potgieter explains how the foods you eat affect the health of your smile

The health of your mouth starts at home. Regular visits to the dentist are important to identify potential issues and for a professional cleaning, but brushing and flossing at home are something you can do every day to ensure that your mouth stays healthy and your teeth stay bright. Additionally, the foods and beverages that you consume directly affect the health of your mouth.

It's commonly understood eating and drinking a great deal of foods with a lot of sugar such as candy, cakes, cookies, and soda is not good for your health. However, it's also harmful to your teeth. These types of foods and beverages coat your teeth, leaving them sticky with sugar and creating an environment where bacteria can quickly grow. It can be hard to eliminate all sweet foods from your diet, but try to brush your teeth or drink water immediately after eating or drinking sweet items to help keep the sugar from coating your teeth.

In addition to sweet foods, foods such as tomato sauce and citrus fruits can also take their toll on your teeth by wearing away the enamel. These foods should be limited or enjoyed as part of a larger meal to minimize their impact.

Some foods are actually good for your teeth. Crunchy and firm fruits and vegetables have a high water content and stimulate the saliva flow in your mouth. Foods such as apples, pears, celery, and carrots help dilute the effects of the sugars that they contain.

Finally, foods with calcium and phosphorus can actually remineralize the teeth; they are considered the best foods for the health of your mouth. These foods include cheeses, milk, nuts, and meats.

Adults should also remember the effects of certain habits when thinking about mouth health. Smoking can have dangerous and harmful effects to your mouth, the appearance of your teeth, and your overall health. In addition, habits like biting or chewing on hard items such as fingernails, pens, and ice or using your teeth to open packaging or bottles can cause your teeth to break or chip.

Dr. Etienne Potgieter of Gentle Dental Putney is committed to the health of your mouth and believes that preventing issues with good habits and good decisions can support a life-long happy and healthy smile. Call today to schedule a consultation or appointment.

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