You’ve decided to go on a diet and you know all of the blood pressure, energy, and mental health benefits of losing weight but did you know that going on a diet can really benefit your oral health as well? We all know that eating too much sugar can cause your teeth to decay and in turn require you to need cavities, crowns, or even root canals, but did you know there are other foods that could deteriorate your teeth as well? In this post we identify diet friendly foods that help and hurt your teeth, interested? Read on!
Foods that will help you lose weight and improve your oral health
Nuts are a great snack for when you’re trying to lose weight because they are filling, good, fats. Nuts are also great for your teeth because they force your mouth to generate more saliva to swallow them. Saliva is good for your teeth because it helps wash foods from your mouth and lessens the effects of acids. Acids in your mouth can cause tooth decay.
Kiwis contain a large amount of vitamin C. Without vitamin C, the collagen in your gums breaks down. Without collagen in your gums, they become tender and susceptible to bacteria. When your gums accumulate too much bacteria, you may be at risk for periodontal disease.
Sweet potatoes contain a large amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is integral in the formation of tooth enamel and tooth enamel protects your teeth from contracting decay. Vitamin A also promotes the healing of gum tissue so your gums won’t be as tender.
Mushrooms are a great source of vegetables when you’re on a diet, but did you know that shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a natural sugar that prevents mouth bacteria from becoming plaque? Sugars are conventionally bad for your teeth because they cause decay, but this naturally occurring sugar is actually good for your teeth and could prevent you from having to get serious dental work due to large amounts of plaque.
Healthy Foods to Avoid for your oral health
If you find yourself constantly craving sweet foods, dieticians will recommend you skip the chocolates or candy and opt for fruit instead. Fruit is an excellent replacement for unnatural sugars, however fruits such as oranges could be negatively affecting your oral health. Citrus based fruits, contain a lot of acid and acidic foods penetrate the tooth’s outer protective layer causing it to be susceptible to decay and discoloration.
You may think that ice is healthy because it’s just water, but if you’re a habitual ice chewer, you could be negatively affecting your oral health. Chewing ice damages your enamel and could leave you vulnerable to a dental emergency.
Dried fruit may seem like a healthy snack alternative to chips or cookies, but they are extremely sticky and stay on your teeth long after you’re done eating. Sticky foods are hard to brush off and often stick in hard to brush places. When food stays in your mouth for extended amounts of time, it turns into plaque and can cause cavities. If you cannot live without dried fruit, be sure to rinse and floss directly after eating.
Sports drinks sound healthy because they insinuate that you are participating in a sport and thus working out while drinking it, however the top ingredient for most sports drinks is sugar. Sports drinks can be good for replacing electrolytes when participating in rigorous activity but if you are simply working out, you should avoid the extra sugars for the sake of your overall health and oral health.
Going on a diet has a lot of health benefits but it’s important to not let your oral health fall by the wayside in favor of a skinnier body.