How our diet affects our dental health?
Healthy Diet

Relationship of nutrition and dental health

Dentists have been reminding to their patients the relationship of nutrition and dental health for many years. A healthy diet can play an important role in maintaining not only good general health but also good dental health.

A proper diet must be balanced and to include all the main food groups as : fruits and vegetables, milk products, meat, fish etc.

How our diet affects our dental health?

The dental plaque, the main enemy of good oral health, is growing feeding itself with the sugar of foods and drinks, producing acids that attack the teeth and cause tooth decay.

  • Foods that break down into simple sugars in the mouth are called fermentable carbohydrates. These include the obvious sugary foods, such as cookies, cakes, soft drinks and candy; but also bread, crackers, bananas, potato chips and breakfast cereals. The effects of all these foods on teeth are enough to demonstrate the strong relationship of nutrition and dental health.
  • Drinks and foods that cause tooth decay are also those that contain enough acids on their own (as citrus fruits or some fruit juices), that start dissolving the minerals (demineralization) of the tooth enamel, causing damage to teeth.

The relationships of nutrition and dental health include more factors than just sugar's relationship to caries, as the overall dietary patterns, frequency and duration of food/drinks consumption, exposure to fluoride, and general health condition.

  • Good nutrition of the mother during pregnancy is very important for the development of the child’s baby teeth. Mineralization (calcification) of primary teeth starts around the 3rd to 4th month of pregnancy.
  • The bad nutrition habits of consuming sweet foods and soft drinks are developed from the very first years of life. In most cases the parents are responsible for that because they give their kids foods and drinks with sugar to keep them happy and quiet. The more sugar a child consumes, and the more frequently he/she consumes it, the greater the risk of developing dental caries. Control the consumption of sugar.
  • Some dietary components protect against dental caries and promote good dental health. Foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, are considered as food good for teeth because they increase the saliva flow that neutralizes acids and helps to clean the teeth of food particles and sugars during chewing. Read more about healthy foods for teeth.
  • Between meals give to your children a food good for teeth as fruits, vegetables or cheese instead of cakes or biscuits that may be bad food for teeth. These kinds of healthy foods are both nutritious and safe for the teeth.

If the kids are encouraged to this type of nutrition from small age they will establish healthy nutrition habits and have good dental health for the rest of their life.

The links between nutrition and dental health remain important for all the phases of our life, from childhood up to old age.

Daily oral hygiene is essential for maintaining oral health. It should also be combined with proper healthy diet and regular dental visits.

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