You know that what you eat directly impacts your health, and that includes the health of your teeth and gums. But it can work the other way around too. If you have an orthodontic appliance, such as braces, or have had certain dental problems or procedures, the health and comfort of your teeth and gums can directly impact what you eat. Here are some tips for what to eat and how to avoid these common dental issues.
Braces are delicate, and any foods that are sticky, chewy or hard can easily cause them to break, including:
Any food that you need to bite into to eat is prime for breaking braces. You can get around this by cutting the food, such as corn off the cob or rib meat off the bone, or slicing apples and chopping carrots into small, bite-size pieces. You may also experience problems eating after your braces are tightened–teeth may feel sore. The first few days are the worst, so try eating softer foods like those listed below until the soreness passes:
There is no cure for canker sores but you may be able to reduce how often you get them by avoiding foods that irritate your mouth. Spicy foods, acidic foods like pickles and sauerkraut, and citrus fruits can cause irritation. If you have canker sores, help ease discomfort by eating bland foods until your sores heal, such as:
If you get mouth sores, try these tips to make eating easier and speed healing:
Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. If you have dry mouth, talk to your dentist or doctor. Dry mouth can be a sign of certain diseases or can be caused by certain medications or the result of medical treatments. If you have dry mouth:
Your nutrition and dietary needs following oral surgery or getting implants depends on factors including your nutritional status prior to your procedure, the extent of your procedure, how much impact there is on oral function and how long your recovery is expected to last. A liquid or soft foods diet may be required for a few days or longer, until your mouth heals. Opt for nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods and lean meats, eggs and beans whenever possible since they provide vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed for healing, including zinc, protein, and vitamins A and C.
Try these foods:
Chewing problems may be caused by tooth loss, gum
disease, cavities and
ill-fitting dentures, so
your first step should be a visit to your dentist to help determine the cause
of your problem. Meanwhile, eating soft foods (see tips for braces) can you
help maintain your nutrients until you can see your dentist.
Swallowing problems can occasionally happen, but if it persists, talk to your doctor since it could be related to something serious. Causes of swallowing issues vary and treatment depends on what is causing the problem.
If you are having trouble swallowing, to prevent choking and aspiration avoid these foods:
Depending on level of swallowing difficulty, the following foods may be included in the diet. These foods are grouped into four different categories: