You know that the foods and beverages you consume affect your body. They provide you with the fuel and energy you need to get up and go, as well as the vitamins and minerals that keep your body healthy and all of your vital systems functioning properly. Of course, eating badly could have the opposite effect, making you feel ill and leading to weight gain and even diseases.
What you might not realize is that the food you eat could be equally helpful or harmful to your teeth. The items you consume have a marked impact on oral health and they could be responsible for plaque buildup on your teeth. What can you do to prevent the formation of plaque (and the tartar, tooth decay, and gum disease that can follow)? How can you remove plaque once it forms? Here’s what you need to know.
Where Does Plaque Come From?
Plaque is a sticky biofilm that covers your teeth and it’s constantly forming. It’s made up of leftover food particles that coat teeth, as well as bacteria that feeds on it. If food remains, bacteria in your mouth will increase, exacerbating the problem. Within a matter of days, this substance can harden into tartar and start causing much more serious problems.
How you eat can have a major impact on plaque buildup in the mouth. Some foods and beverages promote plaque while others help to fight it. Processed sugars are the worst culprit when it comes to plaque because they are already sticky. Soda is especially problematic because the liquid washes over teeth and soft tissues, sticking to surfaces and providing the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
You should try to ingest items that are not only going to provide less fuel for bacteria, but that also help to prevent the formation of sticky film on the teeth. Crunchy fruits and veggies like apples and carrots are a great option. When you chew them, the rough surface helps to scrape away biofilm forming on the teeth. Even better, they give you a dose of natural sweetness without all the harmful effects of processed sugars.
Proper Oral Care
Diet alone can’t get rid of plaque. You’ll also need to implement a proper oral care regimen that includes both at-home and professional cleaning. Start by brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash daily (or ideally, after every meal) to flush away leftover food and kill bacteria. Then see your dentist regularly for professional cleaning and checkup to get anything you might have missed on your own.