In a candid conversation with Dr Kshama Chandan – a leading dental practitioner in mumbai spills the beans on nutrition and oral health.
What role does nutrition have on oral health?
We all treat our teeth like windows, the better we clean them from the outside, the healthier they look- of course that is true but oral health goes way beyond that. Our teeth and gums need to be nourished externally as well as internally. When it comes to the health of our teeth, “We are what we eat”.
If our body isn’t getting the essential vitamins and minerals then our teeth and gums also get affected. Oral hygiene maintenance and regular clean-ups is essential, however eating right is equally important.
How does poor nutrition affect the oral cavity?
In India, malnutrition affects 1.3 million people over the age of 65 and leads to many oral diseases, as well as issues like poorly fitting dentures and receding gums. Soreness in the oral cavity leads to poorer oral intake, which worsens the underlying cause.
How important is a healthy diet?
A healthy diet is extremely important but we must look at the bigger picture. Sleep, hydration, our environment and exercise all play a crucial part in our general health which in turn affects our oral health. Anything that is good for our general health is good for our oral health too.
Which foods are recommended for optimal oral health?
Eating a balanced diet, limiting in-between-meal snacks, reducing the intake of sugary beverages and substituting them with healthier options is the key to maintain optimal oral health.
Meat, poultry, fish, milk, broccoli, spinach, oranges, nuts, carrots and eggs help to strengthen teeth. Safe snacks in between meals include nuts, cheese, fresh vegetables and yoghurt.
What should be avoided?
While chocolate, sweets, candies, fruit juices, fizzy pops, alcohol, give you a short burst of energy and satisfy your taste buds ,they are packed with ingredients that lead to long-term problems like tooth wear, gum disease, tooth loss, tooth decay as well as wider health problems like diabetes and obesity. Avoiding sugary and acidic food and drinks between meals is important, as the acid and sugar can attack tooth enamel. As part of an overall balanced diet, ensure you eat plenty of greens, lean proteins, nuts and healthy fats, avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates including white bread, pasta and processed meat.
A healthy diet has an extremely positive impact on our mouth and teeth. Tooth-friendly choices can do wonders not only to our mouth but our body too. By removing unhealthier options and replacing them with nutritious alternatives, our physical health, mental well being and our smile will all feel the benefits. Say no to the potential damage caused by sugar and acid and give your mouth, teeth and gums the best chance to flourish.
For more information, you can book an appointment with Dr Kshama Chandan, MDS Prosthodontics running a private practice at The Dental Worx located in Lokhandwala and Santacruz (west).
Keep on Smiling,