Flossing and Your Healthy Eating Goals: What the Two Have in Common

Nov 18, 2015 | Dental Information, Oral Health Care, Preventative Dental Care

Your teeth can last a lifetime if you follow your dentist’s recommendations. Even after hearing a dental professional give sound advice about oral care, many people still walk away thinking that brushing their teeth is enough. Yes, brushing your teeth is very important, but it only handles a small portion of the job. Along with brushing your teeth, it’s important to floss, and eat a well-balanced diet.

The main thing that flossing and healthy eating have in common is that both activities reduce the amount of unhealthy bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities.

It’s important to floss daily, as flossing collects the food that brushing leaves behind. Bacteria uses the food that is left behind to feed and grow on. Flossing does about 40% of the work needed to remove bacteria, or plaque, that is left along your gum line and between your teeth. Choosing the right foods to incorporate in your diet, especially between brushings and flossing, can help greatly reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that flossing doesn’t get.

Healthy Eating is Easier Than Most People Think

Every dentist recommends brushing your teeth twice per day, flossing daily, and making regular dental check-ups. These steps are, without question, the building blocks to optimum oral health. There are however other measure you can take to benefit your oral health and the longevity of your teeth, and a healthy diet is among the best changes you can make.

To start, drinking plenty of water can go a long way. It will not only help keep you hydrated, but you can use it to rinse your mouth between brushings. Drinking water also helps stimulate the production of saliva, and saliva does a great job of ridding the mouth of bacteria. You should also use water to quench your thirst instead of soft drinks and other sugary beverages.

Healthy Eating Means Healthy Foods – Starting With Fruits and Vegetables

Along with water, crunchy fruits and vegetables can help stimulate saliva production in hard to reach places. Try eating carrots, celery, or apples for a healthy, mouth friendly snack. Foods with a higher acidic content and higher Vitamin C levels, such as apples and oranges, can create an environment that does not support bacteria short-term, and reduces the risk of gum disease.

Vitamin rich foods can help strengthen enamel and reduce plaque buildup, so you should incorporate foods such as include kale, peas, and spinach into your diet. Vitamin D that is found in milk, yogurt, and cheese, will help with calcium absorption and will also help to strengthen your enamel. Sugar-free gum is great in a pinch and has been shown to slow tooth decay.

Obviously, there are foods that should be avoided as well. One of the main offenders, soda, should be eliminated from your diet altogether as it has almost zero dietary benefit. You should also avoid sugared gum and potato chips as bacteria thrives on both sugar and starch. Be sure to check some of your favourite pantry and go-to foods – you may be surprised how much sugar is in them.

By following a healthy diet, you are reducing the amount of food bacteria has to feed on. Couple that with flossing and brushing and you nearly eliminate all bacteria that can cause harm in your mouth. If you’re having trouble with your diet or are concerned about your flossing and healthy eating habits, let us know and we can help guide you in the right direction.