When it comes to your dental health, nothing could be truer than the adage, “What you put in is what you get out.” Dr. Kami Hoss explains that food choices can affect teeth and one’s dental health. Take for instance, coffee or other foods that have tannins in them such as tea and berries; these foods can stain teeth over time, but that’s only minor compared to the potential havoc sugary foods can wreak.

Effects of A Poor Diet On Teeth

Of course, there’s more to dental health than poor appearances. Sugar-filled sodas and other sweet foods ultimately cause tooth decay. This occurs when the bacteria and sugar meet, creating the acid that results in tooth decay. After about half an hour, that acid can wear away your teeth’s enamel, leaving them vulnerable. This is also why brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended.

“Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease,” Dr. Kami Hoss says. “This claim is backed up by the American Dental Association. But the good news is tooth decay is preventable.”

As mentioned, foods full of sugar and have little nutrients will do more harm than good to one’s dental health. Aside from the tooth decay, the lack of nutrients may also have an effect on the speed with which your body heals and fights off infection. Make no mistake; a poor diet may accelerate various diseases as well. For example, people who have periodontal disease were found to have a poor diet.

“There’s a reason why foods in the grocery come with labels,” Dr. Kami Hoss says. “It’s a good exercise to always read the food label before putting the item in your grocery basket.”

A Healthy Diet for Teeth

You may be wondering what kinds of foods you should be eating to have strong and healthy teeth. Dr. Kami Hoss recommends keeping it simple. And by simple, he means sticking to natural foods. Think a piece of fruit, a slice of cheese, or a serving of plain yogurt. Not only are these filling snacks, but they’re also packed with nutrients that can’t be found with most processed foods.

“One rule of thumb of a well-balanced diet is to eat a variety of food,” Dr. Kami Hoss says. “There are five major food groups you want to target. You can’t go wrong with whole grains, fruits, leafy vegetables, and lean sources of protein.”

Another tip shared by Dr. Kami Hoss is to drink plenty of water. If possible, drink water with fluoride. Water is the best beverage to drink when you’re thirsty — not those sugar-filled sodas and sports drinks that were previously discussed. Water not only cleans the mouth by diluting the acid that was created by sugar and bacteria, but it also prevents a dry mouth by keeping a healthy supply of saliva.

“Not a lot of people know that saliva is the mouth’s first defense against tooth decay,” Dr. Kami Hoss says. “So drinking water and eating a well-balanced diet goes hand in hand.”

Stay tuned to read more from Dr. Kami Hoss.