The New Year is always a good time to revisit our goals for adopting a healthy diet and maintaining good oral health is a goal we should all be striving to achieve each and every day. Not only does this help us to feel like our best selves; but having good oral health also reduces our risk of developing a variety of conditions and diseases!
We all know that brushing, flossing, tongue cleaning, and regular dental visits are all crucial ways to keep your mouth healthy, but did you know that a healthy diet and weight management also have a positive impact on oral health?
How Healthy Diet And Oral Health Correlate
One way our oral health correlates to what we eat has to do with our blood glucose levels. Sugar (glucose) is the favorite food of the bacteria in our mouths, and when we eat, our blood glucose goes up, particularly when we aren’t eating healthy foods. Eating well and maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, which makes blood sugar even more difficult to regulate and puts oral health at risk.
Inflammation in the body is the main cause of Type 2 Diabetes and any chronic inflammation is associated with bone loss. Bone loss occurs due to the direct effects of inflammation, poor nutrition, reduced lean body mass or immobility. Maintaining a nutritious, healthy diet and weight are important because our teeth and gums need the proper nutrients and vitamins from the foods we eat to be strong and work properly.
Fad Diets And Oral Health
While we recommend a healthy weight for oral health, we caution that fad diets designed for quick and drastic weight loss can do more harm than good. Some people want to see results fast and don’t always know the best way to approach weight loss, so they turn to the internet or friends’ experiences to learn of the latest diets they can try. One example of a harmful crash diet is the grapefruit diet, which is bad for oral health because it can erode the enamel on our teeth due to high acid levels. Another perceived “easy” solution that causes problems is weight loss pills, which among other health risks, can lead to teeth grinding.
The Right Diet For You
When dieting is done right, it isn’t a problem for the teeth. Diets that encourage eating more whole foods and reducing added sugars will properly nourish your body and help oral health rather than hinder it. Vegetables, fruits, proteins, and healthy fats are all crucial to having good oral health! Eating a large amount of vegetables can help aid in healthy gums and oral tissues. Drinking whole milk will also help to provide our teeth with the calcium they need!
Your general health, age, activity level and tolerances all play a role in determining the ideal diet for your body. The best thing you can do is consult your health care professional to learn which foods are most beneficial for your body’s specific needs.
Continue Building Healthy Habits!
Eating a healthy diet and providing our bodies with the proper nutrients improves our lives in many ways, not just by improving our oral health. Conversely, maintaining a healthy weight through a nutritious diet isn’t the only way to keep your mouth healthy, so don’t forget about those other oral health habits!