We have all heard about how important it is to eat a well-balanced diet and watch our sugar intake to keep ourselves healthy and fit. But did you know that your diet has a pronounced effect on your oral health or that your teeth and gums often show the first signs of poor nutrition?
The types of foods you eat and even when you eat them can have a dramatic effect on your teeth and gums. Certain types of food have been linked to higher levels of cavity-causing bacteria. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by a poor diet affect your overall health, as well as increase your risk for needing gum disease treatment.
Fast Food Nation
The average American diet of fast food and sugary snacks means major dental problems for your teeth and gums. Foods that cling to teeth -- most soft, sweet and sticky foods -- put you at a much higher risk for cavities because they allow acids that cause tooth decay to build up on the tooth surface. Diets that eliminate entire food groups or are extremely restrictive can also be harmful because they put you at a high risk for nutrient deficiencies.
Fermentable carbohydrates, which are found in crackers, cookies and chips, are extremely common and create the perfect opportunity for dental cavity-causing acids to flood your mouth. You can minimize their effect by eating them as a part of a meal with other types of food. Even if you are having a snack, having cheese along with your crackers will help neutralize acids -- choosing nuts, vegetables or fruit are even better options.