Your Teeth Are What YOU Eat!

May 25, 2011 | Posted in Education

You know the old saying “you are what you eat”? You might be surprised to learn that it applies to your teeth as much as the rest of you!

A healthy diet is of utmost importance for your teeth. Just as an unhealthy diet can have an unflattering affect on your physique, it can be just as unflattering to your teeth.

Most of us grew up quite aware that sugary, processed foods and candies were not good for our teeth. It is no secret that sugar is a major contributor to decay.

We have also been learning more recently about the detrimental impact acidic foods can have. High acid levels in food can erode the enamel of the teeth leading to decay.

Of course, sticky foods are a major concern as well. Whether natural (think of raisins) or processed (candies). The longer foods remain affixed to the teeth, the more time any sugars and acids have to break down the enamel.

But simply avoiding sugars and acids is not sufficient to create healthy teeth. Healthy teeth require healthy food. And one of the biggest impediments to a healthy diet can be… dieting. Crash diets in particular are not only a poor way to maintain a healthy weight. They are also a poor way to maintain healthy teeth.

People on crash diets deny themselves the important nutrition their body needs. These people commonly have reduced levels of vitamins D, B-12 as well as calcium.  Other minerals and proteins that are important for the health of the teeth and gums may also be missing in crash dieters.

Today, this problem is often aggravated by the use of diet pills. Along with many other potential unhealthy side effects, many diet pills reduce the flow of saliva in the mouth leading to dry mouth.

People who suffer from dry mouth tend to experience inflamed gums. They also tend to maintain higher levels of acid as the saliva is not present to dilute or even wash away acid that otherwise builds up on the teeth and gum line. As a result, they may experience greater levels of tooth decay and gum disease.

If you are considering going on a diet to help trim off a few extra pounds, you need to make sure that you still ingest the vital nutrients your teeth require. Don’t be afraid to talk to your dentist about your plans. You might be surprised to find out just how much of an information resource your dentist can be in this regard.

So take the steps to improve your diet. Healthy eating can improve your physique, making you look better and feel better. Feeling better makes you smile more. And since that healthy diet is also good for your teeth, smiling more will show off a healthy set of pearly whites!

All in all, eating the right foods is a healthy habit …and healthier habits lead to healthier lives.

Dr. George Parry

Dental Surgeon