How Your Diet Plays an Important Role in Your Oral Health

How Your Diet Plays an Important Role in Your Oral Health

You’ve likely heard that sweets and sugary drinks “rot your teeth,” and though it’s okay to enjoy treats in moderation, unhealthy eating habits can take a toll on teeth. Teaching your children healthy eating habits, including making healthy food choices, benefits both their oral and their overall health.

Our team of pediatric dental professionals at My Kidz Dentist in Phoenix, Arizona understands that everyday temptations, paired with busy schedules, can cause the best of us to reach for the worst options. We can give you the necessary guidance for a diet that creates and maintains happy, healthy mouths. 

What’s the role of my diet in my oral health?

Your diet is inextricably linked to your oral health. Being mindful of what you’re eating can help your oral health, or hurt it. Choosing sugary beverages and snacks and refined starches can create film that clings to your teeth, raising the risk of that film sticking, and forming plaque. Though some healthy foods, like seaweed, may get stuck in your teeth, they’re less likely to harm your oral health, especially once your child has flossed and brushed. 

While it might seem okay for your child to have sugar as long as they brush regularly, that's not entirely the case. Food particles get stuck between your child’s teeth, and beneath the gum line, which is the reason that flossing is so important. Even with consistent care, the likelihood that your child will develop cavities increases with a diet that’s rich in tooth-harming foods. 

What are the risks of a bad diet to my oral health? 

Though cavities are typically listed as a worse-case scenario, the truth is that your diet can not only cause cavities, but exacerbate them. Our everyday diets are filled with a variety of foods that, when left behind between the teeth and along the gum line, can grow and attract bacteria, causing plaque to form on teeth. 

Plaque is bad for little teeth as well as adult teeth, and teeth with plaque are vulnerable to the plaque hardening, becoming tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a professional, and will continue to build when your diet’s sugars and refined starches continue to feed it. Tartar raises the risk of gum disease and gingivitis, which can lead to tooth loss and jaw pain.

Which foods are healthy for teeth?

Apples, carrots, and cashews are among the best foods that you can choose for your and your child’s teeth. All of these foods’ natural textures clean the surface of your teeth, with some people even noticing their smiles whitening as they increase the amount of apples and carrots in their diets. 

Calcium-rich foods, like dairy and fortified vegan milks, are excellent for strong teeth and gums. Eggs, nuts, and beans contain phosphorus. Broccoli and oranges contain vitamin C. Both phosphorus and vitamin C play an essential role in gum health. Your pediatric dentist can help you plan so that your child gets enough servings of teeth-enriching foods on a daily basis. 

What if my child has special dietary needs? 

If you have special dietary needs, your provider at My Kidz Dentist can help you with more personalized guidance, based on your child’s individual needs. We may need information from your primary care doctor, but we’re more than able to help you create a tooth-healthy diet. For more help, start with a call to your provider at My Kidz Dentist, or book an appointment with us online.

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