Caring for your smile—brushing and flossing regularly—is obviously of utmost importance. However, you can also make a huge impact on your dental health by optimizing your daily diet. Our Orland Park dentists are here with some important information about how various types of foods and drinks impact oral health. We hope that you find this overview helpful, and that it empowers you to choose your meals and beverages thoughtfully.
- Acids: many of the foods and drinks we consume day to day are quite acidic. Citrus fruits, for example, support whole-body health, but they can take a toll on your smile. Here’s why: when your dental enamel is exposed to acids it becomes softer and weaker, a change that lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes after you are done eating or drinking. As you would imagine, during this time your teeth are more at risk of developing cavities or dental damage.
- Sugars: oral bacteria absolutely love it when you indulge in a sugary treat or drink. Bacteria use sugars as fuel; the more you consume, the more energy you are providing for harmful oral bacteria. When we are talking about sugary substances, we are including refined carbohydrates. Refined carbs, like white bread, break down into sugar once in your mouth.
- Staining Drinks & Foods: certain foods and drinks can leave color deposits on your dental enamel over time. Coffee, soda, tea, chocolate, tomato products, and red wine are some key culprits when it comes to environmental stains. Additionally, all tobacco products lead to stained and dark teeth.
There are certain habits that you can cut out of your life all together, like using tobacco products. However, many of the problematic substances on this list are things you consume day to day. So, our Tinley Park dentists encourage you to incorporate some simple steps into your daily routine to minimize your risk of developing dental damage:
- Drink water throughout the day
- Rinse your mouth after every meal and snack
- Don’t brush your teeth for 20 to 30 minutes after consuming something acidic
- Eat and drink sugary or acidic substances at specific times of the day, rather than sipping or snacking throughout the day. This helps to minimize the amount of time that your enamel is soft and at risk.
If you have any additional question, or you would like to schedule a personal consultation with our Orland Park dentists, just give us a call!