Diet and its Relationship with Oral Health in Dubai
They say “We are, what we eat..” This adage is right in the sense that the healthier our diet is the healthier is our body and mind. People running behind healthy diets are mainly concerned about getting in shape, building a healthy body or keeping themselves disease-free. But it is important to know that the food we eat not only affects our general health but also has a significant impact on our teeth, gums and oral health in Dubai as a whole.
WHICH FOODS ARE BAD FOR YOUR TEETH?
It is a well-known fact that sweets or sugar-containing foods are harmful to teeth. Sweetened beverages, sugar-filled sodas, non-nutritious snacks, food with refined sugars all are considered enemies of teeth. Common sources of sugar in our daily diet include candy, cookies, soft drinks, pastries, jam, jellies, etc.
Foods which are sticky in nature like toffee or candies are even more harmful as they stick on our teeth and are difficult to remove just with rinsing.
HOW DO THEY AFFECT YOUR TEETH?
Foods and beverages containing sugars lead to plaque formation by the action of bacteria. The plaque bacteria break down the sugars converting them into acids which damage the teeth surface. Carbonated beverages like sodas are even more harmful as they create an acidic environment for plaque to act.
These cavities formed by demineralization of the tooth surface entrap more food particles creating further plaque leading to a vicious and endless cycle. Beverages like sodas, due to their acidic nature, cause erosion on the surface of teeth and wear off the enamel layer, hence are best avoided. Apart from the type of food, the amount and frequency of sugar intake are important factors too.
CAVITY PROTECTIVE FOODS AND HABITS
It is our responsibility to be aware of what goes into our mouth. In order to control the amount of sugar we consume, we must read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on foods and beverages. It is wiser to go for alternatives that are lowest in sugar. Foods and beverages containing sugars and refined carbohydrates can be limited.
Many foods are considered to be caries-protective i.e. they help in maintaining the proper pH and prevent bacterial accumulation on our teeth thus preventing decay in a way. These include unrefined cereals, cheese and yoghurt, that are said to reduce the effects of acids and restore the enamel that is lost during eating. Fibre-rich foods have a cleansing action on our teeth and they remove the plaque layer as we chew them. Foods like yoghurt not only have a higher pH which acts as a buffer but also contains calcium which strengthens the teeth.
Other than having a direct effect on teeth various components of our food provide nutrition to our body affecting the overall immunity and affecting oral health. The better our nutrition better is our immune system, hence the capacity to fight oral diseases especially periodontal diseases. So it is wiser to eat a balanced diet containing good proportions of fibres, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, etc. and one that would provide sufficient micronutrients as well.
Oral health in Dubai is key to a happy and healthy life as there is a well-understood connection between oral health and your body.
Think before you eat and drink to maintain a healthy body, mind, and soul along with teeth, gums and mouth for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
Dr Hafsa Alidrissi is a dentist and a certified expert with oral health in Dubai and can advise you on best practices regarding looking after your mouth and teeth.
Please contact her now to book a consultation. Contact details can be found HERE.
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