Hi, all! Welcome to the regular blog of Alabama Family Dental, where we take a little time to comment on some issues relating to family dentistry and oral health. We are dedicated to providing the people of mobile Alabama with the most up to date and useful information on dental care we can find, so we can help you make informed decisions about what your family eats and drinks.
In our last installment, we warned you of the dangers of drinking diet sodas. Marketers and soda manufacturers would have you believe that diet soda is perfectly healthy for your teeth because they do not contain sugar. But in truth, diet sodas are very bad for your teeth because they contain high levels of phosphoric and citric acids, which corrode tooth enamel, paving the way to tooth decay. However, oral hygiene is not just about what not to eat. That’s why we want to use this blog to shed some light on something that is good for your teeth, dietary fiber.
The overall health benefits of dietary fiber are no secret. Fiber has been used to treat stomach ailments like constipation and diarrhea for years. But dietary fiber doesn’t get enough credit for the many other health benefits it provides, including the way it helps protect you from tooth decay and gums disease.
Dietary Fiber and Your Oral Health
The key to dietary fiber and it’s oral health benefits is in how it’s consumed. In order to get the most benefit from dietary fiber, you have to actually eat it in healthy foods. The physical act of chewing is one of the most important things you can do to keep your mouth healthy. Chewing foods that are high in dietary fiber, especially fruits and vegetables can actually remove more dangerous food debris from your teeth. More importantly, chewing your food stimulates salivation, which is essential, not only for healthy digestion, but also to protect your teeth from the sugar, acid, and bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Saliva is one of the most miraculous substances your body produces. Did you ever wonder why, when you cut your finger, your instinct is to put it in your mouth? It is because your saliva is a natural antibiotic your body uses to protect itself. The major cause of tooth decay is the bacteria known as dental caries. With saliva’s antibacterial properties, it is your mouth’s greatest defender against dental caries.
Saliva also makes it hard for sugar to cling to your teeth’s surface, and with the help of your tongue it will clear away dangerous food particles. Saliva also combats the acidity that comes with eating many foods, even healthy one, so it is important to chew your food thoroughly to build up lots of saliva.
There are a variety of fiber supplements available, but taking your dietary fiber in the form of a pill, a powder, or a gummy will not give you the oral health benefits eating high fiber foods will. Even worse, many powders and gummies are actually flavored with sugar, making them bad for your teeth.
General Health Benefits to Eating Dietary Fiber
The great thing about a diet high in fiber is that it doesn’t just benefit one part of your body, it helps to keep your whole body healthy. A few years ago Harvard University did two studies on the effects of a diet high in fiber, and they found that eating plenty of fiber helps your circulatory system, your digestive system, and your endocrine system, among others. The studies show that those with a diet high in fiber have 40% less of a chance of developing heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as diverticulitis, an inflammation of the bowel. Those with a low fiber diet are twice as likely to get type 2 diabetes. This is because fiber helps your body to process sugar properly, which also makes it great for fighting obesity.
Health Fiber Needs Healthy Teeth
The thing about eating high fiber foods is that you have to have strong healthy teeth in order to chew these foods. If you are suffering from tooth decay, gum disease, or have missing teeth, your ability to chew properly is greatly diminished, which means you will have trouble chewing, and will likely avoid, healthy foods high in dietary fiber. As we have mentioned, this is very bad for your overall health.
So, be sure to make regular visits to our office in Mobile. Alabama Family Dental will help you keep your teeth healthy, so that you and your family can stay healthy.
Contact us today for more to schedule an appointment.