While we’re well into 2019, many people might still be settling into their healthy eating resolutions and new health trends. Whether this is your situation or not, it’s important to know how the food we eat affects our body, but dentist, Dr. Shannon Hobbs tells us we need to consider the effects on our oral health too.
First, Dr. Shannon suggests we look for balance in your diet including:
- Hard boiled eggs
Things to avoid or change in our everyday meals and snacks are:
- Stay away from lemon water and fruit juices: the acidity and sugar causes harm to your teeth
- Too much sugar in your coffee or tea isn’t ideal
- Aim for sugar-free snacks or snacks sweetened with xylitol, a sugar replacement that protects your teeth
- Eat your sweets with a meal rather than as a snack
- Avoid sweets that stick to your teeth
- Keep a travel-size toothbrush with you so you can brush your teeth after having sweets
TREND #1: GLUTEN FREE DIETS
Some people deal with conditions such as celiac disease, wheat allergies and gluten sensitivities, but staying away from gluten has become a popular trend and lifestyle choice that many are taking part in voluntarily. Dr. Shannon warns us that many gluten-free products lack necessary nutrients to keep our teeth and bones healthy, such as fiber, iron, calcium and vitamin B12. Specifically, kids younger than seven years old are at risk of enamel defects and a higher amount of cavities in their permanent teeth.
TREND #2: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Another popular trend is drinking apple cider vinegar, as it is said to have a lot of positive benefits on the body like getting rid of acne and aiding in weight loss. However, we shouldn’t disregard what this trend can do to our teeth. The product is highly acidic and it weakens the tooth’s enamel, making them more prone to chipping, breaking, sensitivity, pain and cavities. A tip to manage the acidity in your mouth is to snack on cheese, almonds or cashews that neutralize the acidity levels with alkaline.
TREND #3: LOW CARB, HIGH PROTEIN DIETS
Carbs in general turn into smaller sugars that are used by the mouth’s bacteria to produce acid. So, the low-carb part of this trend works, but replacing carbs with more protein is not the best for your oral health. Protein fuels the sulfur and phosphorous in your saliva to sulfuric acid and phosphorous acid in your mouth which leads to bad breath and damage to teeth. The best way to stay away from this issue is to keep a balanced diet with the recommended intake of protein and lots of vegetables.
Extra Tip: be sure to check the ingredients of your protein powders. Many add more sugar to improve the taste, but end up hurting your dental health.
TREND #4: CARBONATED DRINKS
The acidity in your mouth from these drinks comes from the carbon dioxide in it that turns into carbonic acid. This weakens your enamel, but if you do consume them, make sure to have them with food, rather than on their own. Finally, using straws to drink them doesn’t neutralize the acidity; it just decreases the amount of stain on your teeth.
Watch Dr. Shannon Hobbs’ visit to the show in the clip above.