O’Fallon Dentist Reviews How Foods And Drinks Can Affect Your Oral Health

Written by Dr. Brace on Jul 19, 2018

O’Fallon Dentist Reviews How Foods And Drinks Can Affect Your Oral Health

Many of us spend a lot of time picking out oral hygiene products and tools, but we fail to take into account how other substances can affect our smile. Your diet is a prime example; the foods and drinks you consume can set the table for dental health or damage in the future. Our O’Fallon dentists are here with some more helpful information.

Before we get into harmful foods and drinks, let’s talk about one thing that is always good for your oral health: water. When you drink plenty of water, you support whole-body as well as dental wellness.  The first reason that you want to up your water consumption is to clear away plaque and dental debris that has accumulated during the day. At the same time, when you drink water, you prompt your body to produce saliva. Since saliva neutralizes bacteria and helps to re-mineralize dental enamel, supporting natural saliva production can help you maintain a fresh and healthy smile. It is always better to reach for water over sugary juices or sodas, or staining teas and coffees.

Now on to oral health threats. You have probably heard that sugary foods and drinks can damage your smile over time. The truth is that sugars and refined carbohydrates are prime fuel for harmful oral bacteria. When you snack or sip on these things, the oral bacteria in your mouth go to work using this fuel to grow and multiply. They keep going for about 20 to 30 minutes after you stop eating or drinking. So, it is a good idea to limit your consumption of sugary substances. And, when you do indulge, it’s best do so in a defined period of time, rather than exposing your smile to sugars continuously throughout the day.

Acidic substances can also weaken your teeth and oral tissue over time. Sodas, juices, coffee, citrus fruits, and red wine are all quite acidic. When your dental enamel comes into contact with acid, it is temporarily weakened, softer, and more susceptible to damage. It takes about 30 minutes for your enamel to re-mineralize after acid exposure, so it’s important that you not brush your teeth for this period of time. Try immediately rinsing your smile with water rather than using an abrasive brush to clear acid off of your teeth.

When you meet with our O’Fallon dentists, we can assess your smile and give you personalized recommendations on how to tweak your diet to optimize your oral health. Give us a call to schedule a consultation!