The mouth, teeth and gums are essential for chewing and swallowing. They are part of the first steps in the digestion process, so diet affects your dental health.
The mouth is the body's initial point of contact with the nutrients we consume. Therefore, everything we put in our mouth affects not only our general health but also our teeth and gums. In fact, if nutrition is poor, the first signs of malnutrition can appear in the mouth.
Diet and dental health
People's calorie and nutrition needs depend on their age, sex, level of physical activity and other health-related factors. As a rule, any healthy, balanced diet should include
- Fruits and vegetables. Combined, they should make up 50% of the nutritional intake at each meal. Three portions of fruit and two portions of vegetables should be consumed daily.
- At least half of the cereals consumed should be wholemeal: oats, bread or brown rice.
- Dairy. Consumption of low-fat dairy products is recommended.
- Protein. The recommended protein intake is 10 to 15%. It is healthier to choose lean protein sources such as skinless beef, chicken and fish. In addition, other sources of protein can be eggs, beans, peas and legumes. Eat a minimum of 300 grams of seafood per week.
- They should not exceed 30% of the caloric intake. The consumption of unsaturated fats (present in fish, nuts, olive oil) should be increased and foods rich in saturated fats (red meat, butter, palm oil, etc.) should be reduced.
- Sugar. The consumption of free sugar (added sugars) should be less than 10% of the caloric intake and for greater benefits, reduce its consumption to less than 5%.
In addition to diet, it is also important to stay active for good health. Adults should get at least two and a half hours of moderate physical activity per week.
How diet affects your dental health
The foods and drinks you consume directly influence your oral health. The incidence and number of cavities you suffer can be increased depending on the following aspects:
- Food format. Whether the food is liquid, solid, sticky or difficult to dissolve makes a difference.
- Frequency with which refined foods and carbonated and sweetened drinks are ingested
- The nutritional composition of the food.
- The combination and order in which the food is eaten
- Diseases, such as gastrointestinal reflux and eating disorders, that can increase the risk of cavities and weaken teeth.
Effect of snacking between meals
For good dental health, it is recommended to limit snacking between meals. Unfortunately, most people choose sweet foods that are the most damaging to teeth by encouraging tooth decay.
If you have no choice but to eat something between meals, choose the most nutritious options such as cheese, yogurt, fruit or low-salt nuts. These foods will not only be beneficial to your overall health, but also to healthy teeth and gums.
Foods that damage the teeth and gums
Foods with empty calories are those that have a significant amount of energy but provide little or no nutrients. This group includes candy, pastries, carbonated drinks, snacks, alcohol and fried foods, all of which are a dental concern. Also, depending on the concentration and type of sugar they contain, they can stick to the teeth. In our mouth we find bacteria that feed on these sugars and release acids that help the appearance of dental plaque and cavities.
Drinks with added sugars (carbonated soft drinks, juices) cause a constant sugar bath on the teeth that triggers the possibility of caries.
Acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits can also have harmful effects on tooth enamel. Therefore, it is recommended to eat them in combination with other foods and never alone.
Dried fruit, such as raisins, dried figs, dates, etc., due to the drying process, becomes more acidic and sticky, so it adheres to the teeth. When consumed, in combination with saliva, it damages the teeth even after eating.
Foods that benefit oral health
Foods with high concentrations of calcium, such as dairy products (cheese, milk or natural yoghurt), green leafy vegetables and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts...) benefit your dental health. Those rich in phosphorus are also worth mentioning because of their high concentration of protein, such as chicken, turkey, fish and eggs. Both minerals play a critical role in oral health by helping to protect and remineralize tooth enamel.
Fruits and vegetables are also good choices for a healthy smile. They are rich in water and fiber, which balances out their sugar content. They also help clean teeth naturally. These foods also help stimulate salivation. In turn, saliva minimizes and neutralizes acids and food particles on the teeth, protecting them from possible cavities. Many fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C and A, which results in healthy gums.
How to reduce the risk of caries
Once we understand how diet affects your dental health, it is important to know how to reduce the risk of caries. These four tips will keep you away from tooth and gum pain:
- Brush your teeth three times a day for two minutes to remove sugars and food particles from your teeth.
- Reduces snacking in between hours.
- Keep sugar out of your diet. Choose nutritious foods and drinks and don't eat for the sake of eating.
- Include dairy products, fruits, vegetables and water in your diet. They all play a key role in your oral health.
Don't mess around. Whatever you eat, diet affects your dental health. Enjoy a big, clean and healthy smile by eating well and with a perfect oral hygiene with the wide range of products that we offer you from Kin such as GingiKIN B5 that will help you eliminate the plaque to reduce the risk of cavities and possible affection in your gums.