Whether you realize it or not, the health of your teeth is intrinsically related to the health of the rest of the rest of your body. When you are ill, it can change your body in a way that makes you more vulnerable to tooth decay, raising the level of acid in your mouth, or causing dehydration, which limits your mouth’s ability to produce bacteria fighting saliva. Even the medication you take to fight illness can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. So, one of the best ways to protect your teeth and gums is to stay healthy, but to do that you are going to need a strong set of teeth.
Eating the right foods is an important factor in staying healthy and fighting off illness, and the state of our teeth has a lot to do with the food choices we make. For example, natural fiber from food is a staple in a healthy diet. Fiber provides a variety of health benefits, including aiding in digestion and regulating blood sugar, but in order to get the fiber into your body you need to eat foods that are naturally high in fiber, like fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Food like this requires a lot of chewing, and if your teeth aren’t healthy, then chewing may be difficult.
At Antoine Dental Center, here in Houston, TX, we want to help you keep a healthy smile because we know that smile does more than look good, it helps you to feel good. Those beautiful teeth will give you the ability to make healthy food choice so that you can feel better and stay stronger.
What Fiber Does for You
There are two types of fiber, soluble, which breaks down in water, and insoluble, which does not. Both soluble and insoluble fiber are essential for a healthy diet. The best sources for soluble fiber is oatmeal, nuts, apples, and blueberries. The best sources for insoluble fiber is brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumber, and tomatoes. You may notice that all of these foods require some vigorous chewing. Of course, you could use fiber supplements, but they are not nearly as effective as eating natural fiber found in food.
Here are some of the health benefits associated with fiber:
Heart Health – Two separate Harvard studies show that those with a diet high in dietary fiber have 40% less of a chance of getting heart disease and other related ailments, like high blood pressure, and can raise the level of good cholesterol in your body. The studies suggest that this is true for both men and women.
Diabetes – The same Harvard studies showed that diets that are high in fiber decrease your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, according the studies those with low fiber diets more than double their risk of becoming diabetic. Fiber slows your body’s absorption of sugar, which helps regulate your blood sugar level, which not only helps protect you from type 2 diabetes, it helps fight obesity, as well.
Digestive Health – Eating fiber has long been touted as a way to relieve and prevent constipation, and studies show that it will do so, but if you need to increase the amount of fiber in your diet, then do it gradually, and be sure to also increase your water consumption because dietary fiber absorbs water, and you don’t want to become dehydrated.
High-fiber diets have also been shown to lessen the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and to decrease the occurrence of diverticular disease, an inflammation of your intestine, by 40%.
Tooth Decay – Let’s not forget about your oral health. As we have already mentioned, eating foods that are high in fiber requires a lot of vigorous chewing. The simple act of chewing is good for your teeth because it stimulates your mouth’s production of saliva. Saliva is your body’s own defense against tooth decay and gum disease. Not only does saliva help keep your teeth and gums clean by removing food particles and neutralizing acid, it also contains antibacterial properties that fight tooth decay. So, the more saliva you produce, the less of a chance you will experience tooth decay and gum disease.
Come See Us
As you can see, protecting the health of your teeth is about more than having a beautiful smile, although that is important, too. Healthy teeth actually help you stay healthy in general. Be sure to make regular visits to Antoine Dental Center for professional cleanings and examinations, so we can help you protect your health. We want to keep Houston looking great and feeling great. So contact us today to schedule an appointment.
You know the old joke:
Patient: Doc, it hurts whenever I move my arm like this.
Doctor: Then stop moving your arm like that.
Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.
Often, people tend to overthink their problems. If you want some proof of this, just go look at the dental care aisle of your local supermarket. You will find many different kinds of toothbrushes, from the expensive electric brush, to the 99 cents soft bristle special. There are several varieties of toothpaste, all making claims about cavity protection, teeth whitening, tartar control, and other oral health concerns. There are even lots of variations of dental floss to choose from.
Sure, it’s great to have options, and all of these products may provide benefits for your health, but don’t let all these choice blind you to the simplest solution for keeping your teeth healthy and strong: water.
At Antoine Dental Center, we know life is complicated enough without making it more so. At our office in Houston, we have the experience and expertise to help you make decisions about your oral health.
What Are You Drinking?
The liquids you put in your mouth have a dramatic effect on the health of your oral health. Although water is the base of everything you drink, the additives can do some damage to your teeth.
Coffee – When served black with no sugar, the biggest threat coffee presents to your teeth is staining. It is high in acid, but that can be easily combatted with a glass of water. The real problem with coffee is all the additives people like to put in it. Most of those fancy coffee drinks you get from your corner café contain sugary syrup that promotes tooth decay. Even simple diner coffee coffee can cause cavities when you add sugar.
Tea – Like coffee, tea itself isn’t necessarily that bad for your teeth, aside from staining. It’s the sugar used to sweeten it that causes the real problem. Sweet tea is a popular drink in the South, and it is gaining popularity across the nation. Sweet tea is a wonderful, refreshing treat, especially in the summer, but if you sip on it all day, your smile will pay the price.
Soda – Sugary sodas are certainly one of the most popular drinks in the country, second only to coffee. Unfortunately, they are also one of the worst things for your teeth. These drinks are mostly sugar, which along with the acid in sodas, is the main contributor to tooth decay. Don’t think that switching to diet will spare your smile. Diet sodas have been shown to be just as bad, if not worse, for your teeth than regular soda. This is most likely because of the phosphoric acid used in the artificial flavoring.
Sports Drinks – Even though these drinks are marketed to athletes and the health conscious, they are basically just soft drinks in disguise. The main ingredient in these drinks is sugar, and any energy burst you get from them is probably just a sugar rush. If you are drinking sports drinks while working out, not only are you denying your body the water it needs for hydration, you are putting your teeth at risk for decay.
You Need Some Water.
All those sweet and sugary beverages are just fine as long as you consider them special treats and not a staple of your diet. If you are not already, you need to make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Clean Your Mouth – Drinking water will wash away those pesky food particle and bacteria that cause tooth decay. Not only that, when your mouth becomes acidic because of the food you’ve been eating, water will neutralize the acid and restore balance to your mouth.
Stay Hydrated – Hydration is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It also is very important for oral health. Your body needs water in order to produce saliva, your body’s natural defense against bacteria and acid.
When to Drink Water
It could be simpler, drink water throughout the day, every day. Start with a big glass in the morning. Then keep a refillable bottle with you to stay hydrated all day long. This will give your body the hydration it needs, while cleaning your mouth and fighting the negative effects of whatever food you eat.
Come See Us
Of course, regular visits to our Houston will help you keep your teeth healthy, as well, but drinking plenty of water will decrease your chances of needing anything other than a cleaning.
Contact Antoine Dental Center today to schedule an appointment.