Healthy Food, Healthy Teeth
For healthy smiles, the basics are still tried and true: brush twice daily, floss regularly, and come see your highly talented Lexington dentist at Justice Dental at least twice a year for checkups. While these are the best protection against gum problems and tooth decay, there are also foods which can help keep gums happy, and your smile healthy. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t rely on these foods alone to keep your teeth strong – think of them more as a helpful boost to an already healthy oral routine.
Enamel is one of four major tissues that make up the tooth. As teeth develop in the gums, enamel forms on top of them. It’s a very hard, highly mineralized substance that acts as a protectant for the tooth, but can be eroded over time due to various foods and drinks.
While enamel may be the hardest substance in the human body, once it becomes too damaged, the body can’t repair it. The high mineral content of enamel is what gives it its strength, but it also makes it more susceptible to demineralization, caused by acids and wear over time. One of the primary concerns of dentistry is the repair, maintenance, and regular cleaning of tooth enamel to ensure that smiles last for years.
Interested in learning more about how Justice Dental can help protect your tooth enamel, or repair damage that has already been caused? Contact us today, and set up a complimentary consultation with a dentist!
The Bittersweet Truth about Sugar
We all know that we should limit sugar intake in our daily consumption, but it can be fairly difficult to avoid the tasty siren song of sugar. Sugary drinks, most often soft drinks and fruity drinks, are definitely popular – but like candy and other foods comprised of sugar, they can be dangerous to your oral health.
From a young age, we can all recall a dentist or two telling us the importance of brushing, and limiting sugar intake. We already know that too much sugar can cause cavities, but do you know why? Various bacteria in the mouth break down the simple sugars found in such items as candy, soft drinks, and juices, which ultimately produce acids. These acids then erode tooth enamel, creating small dips and soft spots in the teeth where cavities can set up and begin to form.
Studies show that carbonated drinks are especially bad for the health of your teeth, since carbonation increases acidity. Surprisingly, many oral health professionals have singled out certain brands of sports drinks as some of the worst causes of enamel erosion.
When it comes to candy, sugar-loaded sticky and gummy candies pose the biggest threat to your teeth. The soft, malleable texture causes them to adhere to the surfaces of your teeth, including the hard-to-reach crevices, making it difficult for saliva to dissolve them. Hard candy can also damage your teeth and gums, as well as break into pieces and lodge in the grooves of your teeth.
What’re You Drinking?
Hands down, the best liquid for quenching your thirst is also the most beneficial to your smile: water! Water helps to reduce damage to your teeth from acids in food by washing the food particles away from your teeth.
Bacteria like to collect in small pockets or holes in the teeth and gums, which can ultimately result in gum disease. The damage caused to the tissue that connects teeth to the jawbone can cause – among other things – tooth loss. Drinking water regularly helps to flush out bacteria from your mouth.
When it comes to eating a balanced diet, we’re all aware of the food groups. But did you know that some foods are more beneficial to your oral health? Certain nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin D, are essential to a healthy smile. Professionals suggest that food intake should be limited to three meals a day, with healthy snacks in-between.
Veggies & Fruits
Crunchy fruits and veggies tend to be higher in water, which helps dilute natural sugars. These foods also typically have a high amount of fiber, which helps to clean teeth. The crisp, crunchy texture of fruits and vegetables are also helpful in wiping away plaque-causing bacteria that may be lingering on your teeth. Celery, carrots, pears, and apples are good options for crunchy (but healthy) snacks.
Keep in mind, however, that even healthy foods can have acids in them. For instance, apples can expose teeth to damaging acids when they’re eaten slowly. Be sure to drink water, or rinse your mouth out afterwards.
Studies have suggested that foods high in calcium and protein, such as low-fat milk, cheese, plain yogurt, and other dairy products, help to build strong bones and teeth. Cheese and milk encourage the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize acids in our mouths.
Pair plain, unsweetened yogurt with tasty, crunchy fruit for a one-two punch of tooth strength. Fun fact: research has found that plain, sugar-free yogurt might help knock out germs between teeth, which could improve bad breath and plaque buildup!
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fat, which studies show may help prevent periodontal disease. Studies show that omega-3 fats may help to dial down inflammation that is present when bacteria irritates gums.
Lean meats, eggs, and poultry are fantastic sources of protein, which help to keep teeth strong. Vitamin D (found in mushrooms and egg yolks) helps our bodies absorb calcium, which in turn builds and maintains healthy teeth.
Strong teeth aren’t just affected by what we eat and how often we eat it, they’re also influenced by a regular, healthy oral care routine. Remove plaque regularly by brushing twice a day, and flossing at least once a day.
While regular brushing is a key part of keeping your smile healthy, professional cleanings from an incredibly talented dentist at Justice Dental is also essential to keeping your teeth strong. We also provide a variety of whitening services (such as KÖR), as well as Invisalign.
We’re Not Your Average Dentist
From the moment you step into our office you’ll quickly realize that this isn’t your average Lexington dentist office. Our mission is to deliver the very best cosmetic and whole health, anti-aging dentistry by creating natural, beautiful and healthy smiles.
We promise to keep customer service and patient comfort as our top priority, all while delivering the very best treatments and procedures available today in any Lexington dentist – whether it’s delivering the perfect smile, reconstructing your whole mouth, or helping you identify or prevent whole health wellness.
We are world class, proudly nestled right here in Lexington, KY. From one of the top 25 dentists in the nation to handpicked teams of doctors, hygienists, surgeons and dental specialists – we create natural, beautiful, and healthy smiles which function with optimal comfort and durability.
Contact us today, and learn more about how we can help you design your perfect smile!