Your smile is one of your most important accessories, a part of your persona that is inevitably noticed by those you meet and interact with. It conveys your words, your mood, and hints about the way you care for yourself. Your smile, like so many aspects of your health and mental outlook, is largely affected by your diet. Unfortunately, a great deal of the foods we ingest in today’s modern diet are harmful to our teeth and oral health in a way that can prevent our smiles from shining as brightly as they should. Things like weight loss supplements and tools, excessive sugars, and softer foods all contribute to negatively changing the ways our mouths and even our jaws function. Here are a few of the foods to watch out for to keep your smile at its best:
Consuming too much sugar in your diet can cause you an array of health problems, from obesity to heart disease. Unfortunately, such excess also contributes to tooth decay, especially when consumed alone without other types of healthy foods to balance the effects. Try to avoid drinking sugary drinks or eating sugar-latent foods in between meals to help protect your teeth.
Like sugar, alcohol (which is ultimately broken down into a sugar) also causes tooth decay and enamel erosion. Cancer Research UK has even found that 75-80% of mouth cancer patients drink alcohol often. To avoid the negative effects of alcohol consumption, drink alcohol with food and make sure to brush your teeth before going to bed after drinking to avoid bacterial build-up at night. For more information on the oral side effects of sugar and drinking alcohol, see the NHS’s findings.
With the increase in fat and sugar levels in today’s typical diet, there has been a proliferation of diet fads that utilize the calorie burning potential of acidic foods. Some of the most popular have been the grapefruit diet, prompting you to eat a grapefruit with every meal to boost your metabolism, and the apple cider vinegar diet, requiring you to drink a vinegar-water mix with every meal again to increase the number of calories you burn. Although the weight loss effects of these diets are debatable at best, their impact on your teeth is relatively certain. Highly acidic diets wreak havoc on the enamel of your teeth leading to increased sensitivity, possibly even wearing down your teeth and causing cavities. It is best to avoid highly acidic diets, but when much acid has been consumed you can make sure you rinse your mouth with water afterwards if not brush your teeth to avoid the worst of these effects.
Our diets have shifted from a more natural consumption of tougher to digest and chew fruits and vegetables thousands of years ago to one of highly processed, easily chewable and digestible foods. This has caused us to more easily gain weight and to lose much of the strength in both our teeth and jaws. This revolutionary change, though having occurred over a very long period of time, can also be seen within the lifetime of a single person. Studies have found that when certain animals enter into captivity and begin subsisting on a prepared diet, their jaw and teeth alignment negatively change in a short period of time. Make sure to exercise your teeth and muscles with harder foods to keep them in line!
Our modern diet is often lacking in essential vitamins and minerals that are needed to keep our teeth and mouths healthy. Calcium, for example, is extremely important for building strong teeth and is often lacking in typical diets, especially those that avoid dairy products. Missing vitamins also increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth that can cause gum and teeth problems, and when combined with a lack of water consumption that again many people suffer from, can cause many issues for your mouth.
These are only some of the ways that our modern diets can negatively affect our teeth and smiles. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is without a doubt the best way to keep your mouth and entire body at its best. See your dentist often, and review helpful oral health websites like that offered by Indianapolis dentistry services for more information.