How Your Diet Affects Your Teeth

Diet Dental Health

How Your Diet Affects Your Teeth

When we think of dental hygiene, a lot of people just think about how they protect their teeth with things like brushing, flossing and going to the dentist. However, a total dental hygiene plan is much more than that. There are a number of other ways to protect your teeth other than with dental products, and watching what you eat is a good start. Your diet has an enormous role in how healthy your teeth are, so you need to be cognizant of what you’re eating and drinking.

To give you a better idea of how your diet impacts your oral health, we decided to take a closer look at the ways in which your diet affects the health of your teeth.Y

Food Choices

Food choices are the main way in which you can help or hurt your teeth. Our teeth and jaw bones draw a lot of essential vitamins and minerals from our diet, so if we’re lacking in important nutrients, our teeth may not be as strong as they could be. On the flip side, if you eat too many sugars or carbohydrates, you’ll be creating a great environment in your mouth for cavity causing bacteria to thrive. It’s fine to indulge here or there, but don’t make sugar and carbs your primary food group.

Drink Choices

Along a similar vein, drink choices also can severely impact our oral health. Let’s start with the good. Tap water has been treated with flouride, which is a compound that actively helps to strengthen tooth enamel, which can help prevent against cavities. Aside from flouride, water also helps to remove acids, sugars and other substances off of a tooth’s surface, which helps limit bacteria growth and tooth decay.

If you’re not careful about what you’re drinking, your mouth can be much worse off. Sodas and juices are often packed with sugars that can lead to tooth decay, coffee is a very acidic option that can stain teeth and wear down tooth enamel, and excessive alcohol intake can damage your gums and put you at an elevated risk for some oral cancers. Again, indulging here or there should be fine, but make sure that water is your primary drink of choice each and every day.


The final way in which your diet can impact your oral health is when you eat and when you snack. Snacking throughout the day can provide more sources for bacteria to build on and contribute to tooth decay, so try to limit sweet snacking options throughout the day. Another good idea is to keep a bottle of water handy, because aside from helping limit your cravings, it can help to wash sugars off the surface of your teeth, which is helpful for your oral health. Finally, try to avoid late night snacking, especially after you’ve brushed your teeth. If these substances stay on your teeth through the night, they are going to have hours to break down tooth surfaces and other oral tissues. Snack smart, and your teeth will thank you for it.

So at the end of the day, be cognizant of the foods and liquids you are putting in your system, because they can have a profound effect on your health, and brushing and flossing won’t be able to cancel out bad dietary choices. Eating right and making other smart choices are all part of a total dental hygiene plan. For more tips, or to talk to Dr. Brooks about a tooth issue you’re having, reach out to his clinic today.

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Bloomington Dental Clinic

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9801 Dupont Ave S #400
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