Eat Healthy Fiber for Healthy Oral Hygiene
Having healthy teeth is about more that just having a beautiful smile. Being happy with your smile is important, but oral health has a direct relationship with the health of the rest of your body.
For instance, dietary fiber has been shown to have a number of health benefits for almost every system in your body, but in order to eat foods high in fiber, you need to have a strong set of teeth.
That is where Clearwater Dental Associates comes in. We are dedicated to keeping the teeth of Clearwater, FL healthy because they are a key component of keeping the people healthy.
The Health Benefits of Fiber
Heart Health – A few years ago Harvard University performed two studies on health care workers, one on men and one on women. The studies examined the effects of a high fiber diet on these groups of people. The results show that both men and women who eat lots of dietary fiber 40% less of a chance of developing heart disease and high blood pressure. They also exhibit higher levels of good cholesterol.
Digestive Health – Irritable Bowel Syndrome, commonly referred to as IBS, causes abdominal pain and bowel irregularity for many Americans, but diets that are high in fiber have been shown to relieve the symptoms and allows those with IBS to have better control over their dietary system.
The Harvard study also shows that a high fiber diet reduces the occurrences of diverticulitis, an inflammation of the bowel by 40%. Not to mention the fact that dietary fiber has been used to treat constipation for decades.
Endocrine Health – Dietary fiber helps your body to regulate its blood sugar by slowing its absorption of sugar from the food you eat. This helps in the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which is brought on, at least in part, by an excessive consumption of sugar. According to Harvard, those with diets low in fiber are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Oral Health – You probably don’t hear much about the benefits eating dietary fiber has for your teeth and gums, but eating high fiber foods is actually quite good for your oral health, if only indirectly. Most foods that contain a high amount of dietary fiber require some vigorous chewing. The physical act of chewing is what benefits your teeth and gums. When you chew your food, your mouth ramps up its production of saliva to begin the digestive process.
But saliva does more than simply break down the food you are chewing. It also helps keep the food from sticking to your teeth, where it can cause tooth decay. Saliva contains an antibacterial property that fights dental caries, the bacteria that causes tooth decay. That, combined with its ability to neutralize food acid, makes saliva an amazing defense against tooth decay and gum disease.
This is why it is better to get your fiber from natural food sources. Fiber supplements, like pills, powders, and gummies, will help the other systems of your body, but they won’t do anything for your oral health. In fact, some fiber powders contain sugar as a sweetener to make the supplement more palatable, and this is obviously bad for your teeth.
Where to Get Your Dietary Fiber
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Both are necessary for a health diet, and both can be found in a variety of healthy, natural foods.
Soluble Fiber – Most of the health benefits from fiber come from soluble fiber, which breaks down in water. Soluble fiber is heart healthy and can be found in a variety of natural foods, like oatmeal, apples, oranges, carrots, and cucumbers.
Insoluble Fiber – This type of fiber does not break down in your digestive system, so it helps push waste through your gut. You can get insoluble fiber by eating whole wheat and whole grains, wheat bran, seeds and nuts, as well as fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes and grapes.
Some foods, carrots and cucumbers for example, contain both types of fiber, which make them an excellent choice for healthy meals and snacks.
You Will Need Healthy Teeth to Chew All This Fiber
One thing’s for sure, all the foods mentioned above require a fair amount of chewing, and for that you will need some healthy and strong teeth. Eating high fiber foods will help protect your teeth, but you will also need to make sure you are practicing healthy daily dental care habits. Brushing and flossing twice a day is essential, as well as drinking lots of water.
Don’t forget regular checkups at Clearwater Dental Associates. We have the skills and equipments necessary to keep your teeth healthy, so you can eat the foods that will keep you healthy.
Contact our office in Clearwater today to schedule an appointment.