Dental Health


Understanding What Affects the Health of Your Smile

The health of your smile plays an integral role in your overall health. While it’s essential that you maintain healthy oral hygiene habits, you can better protect your smile if you know what negatively affects it.

Your Smile and Your Diet

The appearance of your teeth is a reflection of the health of your teeth. One of the most common causes of conditions that wear away at your smile is an unhealthy diet.

Foods and Drinks to Avoid

Staying away from foods that are known to increase your risk of cavities is difficult. But if you can lessen the amount of sugary candy and drinks you consume, like sodas, your teeth would thank you if they could.


Sticky candies and sweets, starchy foods that get stuck in your teeth (breads and chips), soft drinks, and energy drinks.

Good Foods:

Fiber rich fruits and vegetables, cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and sugarless gum.


Another way food can affect your teeth is to stain them. Wine, dark berries, coffee, soda, and tea are all common contributors to dull-colored teeth.

Conditions That Affect Your Oral Health

While your diet plays a significant role in your oral health, multiple medical conditions can affect your smile as well, including:

  • Diabetes: If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to suffer from gum disease because it reduces your body’s resistance to infection.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease: As the disease progresses, patients’ oral health worsens.
  • Eating Disorders: Eating disorders limit the nutrients that your body and smile receive. Additionally, patients who have bulimia typically engage in self-induced vomiting, which continuously covers teeth with acid from the stomach.
  • Osteoporosis: This disease makes your bones weak and brittle, and it can be linked to tooth loss.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: RA (rheumatoid arthritis) causes severe inflammation, and it can affect your TMJ (temporomandibular joint), making opening and closing your mouth difficult.
  • Sjogren’s syndrome: Inflammation blocks the salivary glands, causing severe dry mouth which can cause more cavities.

How to Protect Your Oral Health

The best way to defend your smile from damage is to practice good oral hygiene habits. Strong oral hygiene habits include brushing twice a day and flossing after meals. However, there’s more you can do to protect your smile.

For example, one way to protect and strengthen your teeth is by choosing to eat a healthy diet and refrain from snacking between meals. Healthy foods such as leafy greens and nuts act as natural toothbrushes, cleaning the surfaces of your teeth as you chew. Snacking between meals allows food particles and bacteria to sit on your teeth longer than they normally would.

Other oral care tips are as follows:

  • Replace your toothbrush every three months. Frayed toothbrush bristles aren’t effective and leave plaque and bacteria on your teeth.
  • Schedule routine visits with Montana Dental Works. The more often you can get a professional cleaning, the better — it also gives our doctors time to examine your mouth for signs of other dental issues.

Learn More About Dental Health

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