How you treat your body and how you treat your mouth are tightly connected. Usually this connection is a positive one, although there are a few times when choices you make for your overall health may put your oral health at risk.
Following are 5 tips to make sure your oral health is not comprised by the important things you do for your overall health.
Warm Lemon Water
Starting the day with warm lemon water is highly recommended as a way to aid digestive system and make the process of eliminating waste easier. While this practice does have many healthy benefits, the acidity of lemons can erode tooth enamel over time. This erosion is irreversible and may compromise the protection of the nerves below the enamel, leaving teeth sensitive to hot and cold or more.
Juicing & Smoothies
With the rise in popularity of juicing and smoothies, many people are finding this a convenient and valuable way to consume large amounts of fruits and vegetables. There are many obvious benefits to making this a regular part of your healthy living plan, although it is important to be aware of the potentially high sugar and acid content these may contain. Be sure to always drink water after a glass of these nutrient rich drinks. This will also help rinse the strong pigmentation of items such as berries that can stain teeth.
Many people seeking a healthy lifestyle find that eating multiple mini-meals per day versus three large meals can be a way to stabilize blood sugar and maintain a solid energy level. While there are many benefits to this type of routine, it is important to consider the effect of eating often on your oral health. Each time we eat we risk the sugars in the food combining with any plaque built up on our teeth getting together and forming enamel-eating acid. The body produces saliva to help rinse down the food and rinse away some of the acid, but enamel can still be at risk. Snacks such as celery can help keep teeth clean. Drinking water after snacks is also a very important way to minimize exposure.
Choose Low Calorie Drinks Wisely
In addition to choosing vegetables such as celery as a healthy snack, choosing your low calorie drinks carefully is important. Many people turn to diet soda as an option. Unfortunately diet soda is very acidic so while it doesn’t have the dangerous sugar of regular soda, it does have a nearly equally damaging effect on teeth. Sipping diet soda throughout the day is particularly harmful. If you do drink diet soda, drink it at one time and be sure to rinse with water afterward.
Certain dietary changes or medications can affect the amount of saliva the body produces, often causing it to decrease. Drinking water as often as possible is a key to healthy living in so many ways and when saliva production is decreased it is imperative to a healthy mouth. As mentioned above, a sip of water after eating can help rinse away potentially enamel eroding and staining foods. Another benefit of drinking water is the added fluoride protection in fluoridated tap water.
We’re Here to Help
Our team is always available to answer any specific questions you may have about your oral health as it relates to your overall health habits. We look forward to discussing this further with you during your next checkup or visit.
The Art of Beautiful Smiles
Duane P. Delaune, D.D.S. earned his dental degree at Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, where he graduated fifth in the class. Delaune Dental began in 1990 with the passion of providing great customer service and exceptional dental care. Dr. Delaune loves the wilderness and often hikes or goes backpacking.