When it comes to oral health, it not about straight and white teeth, but also gum health. Gum disease not only affects your gums and teeth but also affect your overall health. For example, it increases your risk of heart disease. It is crucial to protect your gums just as you do your teeth.
Brushing is the chief preventive measure. But, your feeding habits also play a major role in the health of your gums and teeth.
Here are the five foods to eat and five to avoid to keep your gums healthy.
- Soda and caffeinated drinks
Soda and other sugary drinks are the biggest threat to the health of your teeth. Sugar is known to feed the bacteria that live in the oral cavity. The bacteria then break down the sugar and produces an acid solution. This solution affects the enamel causing it to be prone to decay. Bacteria are also responsible for gum inflammation and irritation.
Soda contains sugar and citric and phosphoric acid that contributes to damaging the enamel.
Caffeine, on the other hand, causes dry mouth. Saliva production is important to your oral health as it washes away the food particles. But more than that, saliva is rich in minerals that support the enamel and prevents decay.
- Ice creams
Ice creams harm your gums and teeth, especially if you are at risk of gum or have sensitive teeth. The cold temperatures irritate the teeth and exposed gums. The sugar in the ice creams also affects the enamel and gums.
Chewing Ice cubes can also damage the enamel and put you at risk of cracked and chipped teeth.
You don’t have to eliminate ice or ice creams, but do not chew them. And, when you eat the sweet treats, make sure you clean your teeth immediately.
- Potato chips
Potato chips are a satisfying treat, but they can spell doom for your teeth. Potato chips are loaded with starch that is broken down to sugar. Furthermore, chips become gummy and stick to the teeth. These foods cause acid-producing bacteria that increase your risk of decay. Starchy foods are also known to cause dry mouth.
White bread is similar to potato chips as it contains starch, which is broken down to sugar. If you want some bread, opt for the whole wheat. It contains less sugar and is also a good source of fiber.
- Sports Drink
While they are mostly used by athletes to keep hydrated, sports drinks contain sugar and acid. These two make the teeth more vulnerable to decay and gum inflammation.
Five Foods to Eat
Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods will promote healthy teeth and gums. This means you need to maintain a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. Here are five foods that can support your gums:
- Milk, yogurt, and cheese
These dairy products are low in sugar and high in calcium. It also contains casein, which fortifies the enamel and strengthens. These foods also contain phosphate, which helps in balancing ph levels in the mouth. Cheese increases saliva production. Yogurt is rich in probiotics, which helps to reduce the bad bacteria in the body.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
Chewing fruits and crunchy vegetables helps to remove plaques and stuck food particles. These vegetables and fruits are also good sources of minerals and vitamins needed by your teeth and gums to stay healthy.
- Sugar-free gums
Chewing sugar-free gum helps in saliva production. Saliva is great for removing particles and keeping the enamel strong.
Drinking water not only keeps you hydrated but will prevent dry mouth. Also, drinking fluoridated water will strengthen your enamel and keep decay away.
Ginger is anti-inflammatory, which helps to counter inflammation and irritation of the gums. Add ginger in your food occasionally to keep the gums healthy.
Other Ways of Keeping Your Gums Healthy
You can also keep your gums healthy by:
- Stopping smoking
- Using fluoride toothpaste and antibacterial mouthwash
- Get regular cleaning and exams. It is easy for our dentist in Portland to detect early signs of gum disease.
Visit our Downtown Portland Dentist at Laurelhurst dentistry for more information on gum health.