Ask a Dentist

May 14, 2020

Q: How Important Is Diet To My Teeth?

A couple, cooking together, in a kitchen with marble counters, metal shelves in the back and orange bowls, pots and other accents. She's wearing black and has long black hair, he's wearing a white tshirt.

What you eat directly affects the health of your mouth and teeth, and the health of your mouth and teeth affects how your body takes in nutrients. There are many foods that have a direct impact on your teeth - sugar, acid, proteins, vitamins and minerals all have an impact on your oral health. 

Sugar (carbohydrates) has been linked to an increased risk in developing cavities, caused by an increase in bacteria and a decrease in pH after you eat carbohydrates. Acid also increases the risk of developing cavities. Acidic foods and beverages can erode your tooth enamel, making it easier for bacteria that cause cavities to wear down the surface of your teeth. 

Proteins, vitamins and minerals can help build up the strength of your teeth, decrease inflammation and fight against bacteria development by balancing the pH levels in your mouth. Calcium plays a large role in forming and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. For healthy teeth and bone development, it’s recommended that children aged 1-3 get 700 mg of calcium a day, while children aged 4-8 get 100 mg a day. Another way to help increase the absorption of calcium and phosphate for children is vitamin D. Reports have shown a correlation between low vitamin D in children and higher instances of cavities. 

Don’t worry, with proper oral hygiene habits and a balanced diet you can combat the negative effects that sugars and acids have on your oral health. We recommend reducing the amount of sugary and acidic foods you consume, brush and floss regularly, and drink plenty of water. Water will help rinse away food particles and bacteria, helping your teeth stay clean between brushings. 

Make sure to get regular dental checkups to ensure your smile remains healthy and bright. If you haven’t had a dental checkup in the past six months, book an appointment today at either of our Winnipeg dental clinics. We have two dental clinics conveniently located in Garden City Shopping Centre and St. Vital Centre.