Complete Insight on Nutrition and Dental Health

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Dr Sukanya Goswami
Sukanya has done BDS. She is a dentist, a blogger, an extrovert, and a travel enthusiast. She is also a spiritual believer. When she is not working, you can find her reading books.

Proper nutrition means eating a well-balanced diet that mainly consists of essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Such ingredients not only make up a healthy snack but also tastes good. Often people indulge in consuming non-healthy food like carbohydrates, sugary snacks, candy, and acidic drinks. These food items not only lack the nutritional value but are also very harmful to the teeth and gums.

The best way to enjoy your meal throughout the day is to adopt smart snacking. Smart snacking is a method which requires proper planning and selection of healthy food items. High alkaline foods have scientifically proven to counteract the damaging effects of acidic food and drinks. It is essential to understand the importance of healthy food to maintain your oral health and well-being.

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Today’s article will highlight some of the benefits of nutritious food and its importance in maintaining a good oral environment.

What does nutrition mean?

Nutrition is described as the intake of food that fulfills the daily requirements of essential nutrients in the body. An excellent nutritious food constitutes a combination of well-balanced proteins, vitamins, and minerals. (1)

It is a fact that the type of food we consume has a direct effect on the health of our mouth and body. Alkaline diet holds the highest value in terms of nutrition. Moreover, the alkaline pH matches to that of the oral environment, which helps to maintain harmony between the different dental tissues in the mouth.

How is poor diet harmful to oral health development?

The poor diet mainly constitutes of food that does not have any nutritional value, for example, sugary snacks, carbohydrates, starchy food, and food that has a high acidic component. The oral bacteria in the mouth thrive on these food substances and produce bacterial acids. Such acids attack the enamel surface and cause demineralization.

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As the process of demineralization continues, it forms a vicious cycle of dental problems that often include the following –

  • Tooth decay and cavity formation
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Increased accumulation of plaque, tartar, and bacteria in the mouth (2)
  • Bad breath
  • Gum irritation
  • Early loss of tooth

Often children are more prone to such dental problems as compared to adults. A decline in the oral health of children can cause them a lot of pain and trouble. It is essential to avoid such circumstances and live a healthy life by educating ourselves and our children about the importance of healthy food.

What are the benefits of a well-balanced diet?

Some of the prime benefits of eating a healthy balanced food include –

  • A decrease in acidic content of the mouth and body
  • Reduced incidence of enamel erosion and tooth decay
  • Calcium and vitamins abundant diet strengths the teeth by remineralizing the enamel
  • Alkaline diet significantly increases the salivary flow in the mouth. This helps to flush away the food debris, bacteria, and plaque from the mouth and moisten the oral tissues.
  • Clinical studies have shown a significant improvement in systemic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and stroke by switching to a healthy diet. (3)

What is the best type of foods that contribute to a healthy oral environment?

Typically, the healthy food chart can be divided into four main categories as follows –

  • Fruits and vegetables – Fresh fruits and vegetables consist of several items like apples, oranges, banana, grapefruit, and pineapple. Fresh vegetables like celery, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots hold tremendous nutritional value.
  • Whole grain items – this category includes a variety of whole wheat bread, unsweetened cereal, plain bagels, and pasta. These foods are ideal for one-time consumption in a day.
  • Dairy products – this category is the favorite one for children which includes cheese, yogurt, milk, cottage cheese and many other products that are alkaline at the same time have a good amount protein and vitamins. (4)
  • Nuts, seeds, and meat – it is a fact that nuts like cashew and almonds are beneficial for the skin and body. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds contain the right amount of omega-3. When it comes to meat, chicken and turkey meat are the healthiest among all others.

The foods listed above have proven to contribute significantly to the growth and development of the body and mouth. It is essential to understand the importance of this food to make an informed decision about the type of food you want to consume.

What is smart snacking?

Smart snacking is a process where you can control the type and amount of food you want to consume at a particular time of the day. It is an excellent practice to teach children about food regulation and inculcate a habit of eating healthy.

To prepare an excellent smart snacking schedule, you can follow the steps given below –

  • Understand the nutrition value for each type of food
  • Avoid food rich in carbohydrate and sugars
  • Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables (5)
  • A low fat diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals are an excellent way to live healthily
  • Fix a time which is only meant for eating food

Take away message

Everyone has heard about the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables in maintaining our health and well-being. However, we all often fail to adopt this healthy habit in our life and indulge in eating food rich in carbohydrate. Usually, sugary and starchy food causes an imbalance in our digestive cycle. Moreover, it can have severely damaging effects on the health of the teeth and gums – for example, enamel erosion, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Become smart by planning your diet and time for each day. Switch to alkaline food that can counteract the effects of such food and give you a second chance to live healthily. Plan your diet with the help of a nutritionist or a dentist today.

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