What Is the Role of Diet in Oral Health?

What Is the Role of Diet in Oral Health?

May 02, 2023

Diet plays a significant role in maintaining good oral health. What you eat and drink can impact your teeth and gums in a variety of ways.

Although dentists in Calgary stress the benefits of a healthy diet for excellent oral health, few people take it seriously. Technically, the mouth is the first contact point for most things that make it to the body. Therefore, your meal choices directly impact your oral features, including your teeth and gums.

How Does Diet Affect Oral Health?

Here are some ways that diet can affect oral health:

  1. Tooth decay: Sugary and starchy foods can cause tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth use these foods particles to produce acids that eat away and erode the enamel, leading to cavities.
  2. Gum disease: A diet deficient of essential vitamins and nutrients will compromise your immune system, making it harder for the body to fight infections in your oral cavity. Vitamin C is particularly crucial for gum health.
  3. Bad breath: Foods high in sulfur, such as onions and garlic, can contribute to bad breath.
  4. Acid erosion: High and regular consumption of highly acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits and soda, can erode the enamel over time, leading to tooth sensitivity and discoloration.
  5. Dislodging oral devices: Patients that have received restorative treatments at Springhill Dental must be more careful about their oral habits and diets. Some things you chew and eat risk damaging your tooth appliances, including chewing gum. Instead, opt for sugar-free gum after meals. It helps stimulate the production of saliva, neutralizing acid in the mouth.

Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health Through Diets

If you want to master the importance of food on oral health, consider the following tips:

  1. Limit sugary and starchy foods: They promote tooth decay by providing a conducive environment for bacteria in the mouth, producing acid. Limit foods and drinks like candy, soda, and sports drinks. Instead, opt for water or unsweetened tea, and choose healthier snacks like fresh fruit, vegetables, and nuts.
  2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables: They are packed with important vitamins and minerals, essential for good oral health, and to strengthen teeth and gums. Aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  3. Choose lean protein sources: Protein is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Choose lean proteins like chicken, fish, beans, and nuts.
  4. Avoid acidic foods and drinks: They erode the enamel, leading to sensitivity and discoloration.
  5. Drink plenty of water: Water helps flush out all toxins, and rinse out food particles and bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Besides, it complements saliva in neutralizing acidity in the mouth. Aim for at least eight glasses of water each day.

Examples of Foods to Eat for Excellent Oral Health

  1. Dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk – are rich in calcium and other nutrients for strengthening teeth and bones.
  2. Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale – are high in calcium and folic acid, vitamins that promote healthy teeth and gums.
  3. Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds – are rich in calcium and magnesium, which are minerals that strengthen teeth and gums.
  4. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery – help clean teeth and stimulate saliva production in the mouth.
  5. Lean proteins like chicken and fish – are high in phosphorus that strengthens teeth and bones.
  6. Whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat bread – are high in fiber for scrubbing teeth clean and promoting healthy digestion.
  7. Water

Remember, good oral health isn’t just about what you eat. Therefore, consuming these foods alone will not guarantee excellent oral health. You must also brush and floss regularly, and visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. By combining a healthy diet with good oral hygiene practices, you can maintain a healthy smile for many years.


It’s also important to maintain general dental care with routines like brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

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