Whether you realize it or not, the health of your teeth is intrinsically related to the health of the rest of the rest of your body. When you are ill, it can change your body in a way that makes you more vulnerable to tooth decay, raising the level of acid in your mouth, or causing dehydration, which limits your mouth’s ability to produce bacteria fighting saliva. Even the medication you take to fight illness can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. So, one of the best ways to protect your teeth and gums is to stay healthy, but to do that you are going to need a strong set of teeth.
Eating the right foods is an important factor in staying healthy and fighting off illness, and the state of our teeth has a lot to do with the food choices we make. For example, natural fiber from food is a staple in a healthy diet. Fiber provides a variety of health benefits, including aiding in digestion and regulating blood sugar, but in order to get the fiber into your body you need to eat foods that are naturally high in fiber, like fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Food like this requires a lot of chewing, and if your teeth aren’t healthy, then chewing may be difficult.
At Antoine Dental Center, here in Houston, TX, we want to help you keep a healthy smile because we know that smile does more than look good, it helps you to feel good. Those beautiful teeth will give you the ability to make healthy food choice so that you can feel better and stay stronger.
What Fiber Does for You
There are two types of fiber, soluble, which breaks down in water, and insoluble, which does not. Both soluble and insoluble fiber are essential for a healthy diet. The best sources for soluble fiber is oatmeal, nuts, apples, and blueberries. The best sources for insoluble fiber is brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumber, and tomatoes. You may notice that all of these foods require some vigorous chewing. Of course, you could use fiber supplements, but they are not nearly as effective as eating natural fiber found in food.
Here are some of the health benefits associated with fiber:
Heart Health – Two separate Harvard studies show that those with a diet high in dietary fiber have 40% less of a chance of getting heart disease and other related ailments, like high blood pressure, and can raise the level of good cholesterol in your body. The studies suggest that this is true for both men and women.
Diabetes – The same Harvard studies showed that diets that are high in fiber decrease your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, according the studies those with low fiber diets more than double their risk of becoming diabetic. Fiber slows your body’s absorption of sugar, which helps regulate your blood sugar level, which not only helps protect you from type 2 diabetes, it helps fight obesity, as well.
Digestive Health – Eating fiber has long been touted as a way to relieve and prevent constipation, and studies show that it will do so, but if you need to increase the amount of fiber in your diet, then do it gradually, and be sure to also increase your water consumption because dietary fiber absorbs water, and you don’t want to become dehydrated.
High-fiber diets have also been shown to lessen the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and to decrease the occurrence of diverticular disease, an inflammation of your intestine, by 40%.
Tooth Decay – Let’s not forget about your oral health. As we have already mentioned, eating foods that are high in fiber requires a lot of vigorous chewing. The simple act of chewing is good for your teeth because it stimulates your mouth’s production of saliva. Saliva is your body’s own defense against tooth decay and gum disease. Not only does saliva help keep your teeth and gums clean by removing food particles and neutralizing acid, it also contains antibacterial properties that fight tooth decay. So, the more saliva you produce, the less of a chance you will experience tooth decay and gum disease.
Come See Us
As you can see, protecting the health of your teeth is about more than having a beautiful smile, although that is important, too. Healthy teeth actually help you stay healthy in general. Be sure to make regular visits to Antoine Dental Center for professional cleanings and examinations, so we can help you protect your health. We want to keep Houston looking great and feeling great. So contact us today to schedule an appointment.