Taking better care of your body by fueling it with healthy foods is a great step in becoming the best version of yourself. But if you’re embarking on a new diet, you probably have your waistline on your mind, not your teeth. Many popular weight-loss diets can have a major impact on your oral health and trends like detox teas, and the ever-so-popular juicing cleanse can really do more harm than good in the long run.
How does your diet plan affect your mouth?
Diet Fads Worth Skipping
These “healthy” juices are chock full of sugar that has a negative effect on your oral health. Even with good home care and regular dental cleanings and exams, the sugar from these juices is consumed by the harmful bacteria in your mouth, and it’s immediately converted to acid which wears away your tooth enamel. The bacteria can also irritate the gums and lead to gum disease.
Also known as skinny water, detox water is promoted as a natural way to cleanse the body and lose weight by infusing water with do-it-yourself fruits and herbs. One of the most common ingredients in detox water recipes is lemons, and citrus fruits contain high levels of citric acid. Acid is one of your smile’s greatest enemies and eats through the hard outer enamel layer of your teeth which leads to spots, cavities and tooth decay.
It may seem harmless to use fruit as your only food source for a week to shed a few pounds, but besides the effects of malnutrition, most fruits have high levels of sugar and acid that can damage your enamel, leaving your teeth and gums vulnerable to tooth decay.
Diet pills are notorious for leaving you with dry mouth, which creates some major health problems in your mouth. Saliva is your body’s natural defense against tooth decay, so by cutting down your salivary flow, you’re more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
Reversing The Damage of Dieting
Eating a healthy diet and losing weight can be done all while protecting your smile. Focusing on foods that can help prevent or even reverse dental damage is a great way to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs while also protecting your teeth.
Help in reversing the diet damage by:
Chewing Sugarless Gum
Sugar-free gum helps clean teeth by stimulating the production of saliva, your body’s natural way of washing away acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. It also bathes the teeth in bone-strengthening calcium and phosphate. Look for a sugarless gum that contains Xylitol, which is an alcohol that reduces bacteria in the mouth.
Water, just like saliva, helps to wash away sugars and acids off your teeth. Most tap water also contains fluoride, which protects against tooth erosion. Fluoride occurs naturally in water, including some bottled spring water.
Consuming High-Fiber Foods
Getting plenty of leafy greens and other high-fiber foods and vegetables promote good digestion and healthy cholesterol levels. These foods also require a lot of chewing which does wonders for your teeth. Eating foods like spinach and beans generates saliva, which gives your teeth a great scrub.
Is Your Diet Causing Damage?
Before jumping into the latest diet trend you saw on the internet, consult with your dentist beforehand to see if there are any associated risks. We love to see our patients taking care of their body and their oral health, and we want to make sure you can do both without causing any damage. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Okamura today and see how your diet plans might affect your smile.