What would the morning be without a good meal to get the day going? It is well established that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gets your metabolism going, and it provides that first charge of energy to get you through the day.
While a healthy breakfast is essential for your overall health, have you ever stopped to wonder what it might be doing to your teeth?
Like most things in life, there is good and bad when it comes to the typical American breakfast. At Serafimov Dental, right here with your general dentist in West St. Paul, we hope that you will accentuate the positive when it comes to breakfast, and eliminate, or at least reduce, the negative.
Bacon and Eggs
You have to have some bacon and eggs on the breakfast table, right? Both are an excellent source of protein, but when it comes to health value, it is hard to call bacon “healthy”. Delicious, yes. Healthy, not so much. Of course, as long as you eat bacon in moderation, combine it with plenty of heart-healthy foods, and get some regular exercise, it is not the worst thing you can do for your health.
One thing to consider, though, is that bacon is a pretty stringy meat, depending, of course, on how you cook it. It is easy for little bits of bacon to get caught between your teeth, where it can cause irritation and attract bacteria. This bacteria is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
Meat getting stuck in your teeth is not a very serious problem, as long as you brush and floss twice a day. But if you neglect to floss, the meat particles in your teeth can lead to a serious problem.
Eggs, on the other hand, seem to be a more healthy source of protein than bacon, but that has been the subject of debate for decades. Again, moderation is the key. Although some athletes, bodybuilders especially, eat a lot of eggs as a regular part of their diets; however, some nutritionists believe that there are some definite health risks with that diet.
When it comes to dental health, eggs don’t really pose any more of a threat than any other food. As long as you are brushing and flossing, eating eggs should not cause you any peculiar problems. There is one thing to watch out for, though, and that’s shell fragments. Sometimes little pieces of shell end up in the eggs, especially if you eat them scrambled. Shell fragments could cause some problems for your mouth, in particular, the soft tissue, like your tongue and gums. To avoid injury to your soft tissue, simply eat at a moderate pace and take small bites, that way you will be more likely to detect the fragment before biting down on.
Fresh fruit should be a staple of your overall diet, not just something you eat for breakfast. Fruit contains lots of healthy vitamins, as well as fiber, which aids in digestion and helps your body process sugar. But there are some concerns that come with eating fruit, namely sugar and acid. Even though the sugar and acid in fruit is natural, it can still cause tooth decay.
Fortunately, regular brushing and drinking plenty of water will combat the negative effect that fruit has on your teeth, and with the positive health benefits that come from eating fresh fruit, you should by no means cut fruit from your diet.
However, if you are adding sugar to your fruit, that is a habit you should consider giving up. Adding refined sugar to the natural sweetness of fresh fruit greatly increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, not to mention, diabetes and other health problems. Is that extra sweetness really worth it?
If you are drinking juice instead of eating the whole fruit, you are getting all the sugar and acid with none of the healthy fiber. Chewing is an essential part of tooth care because it generates saliva, which protects your teeth from sugar and acid.
It’s probably okay to drink juice every now and then, but it no substitute for actual fruit.
Another traditional staple of breakfast is hot coffee. A recent study has shown that roasted coffee beans fight the bacteria that causes tooth decay, but that is only if you take your coffee black with no sugar. Adding sweeteners and creamer to your coffee will negate any dental health benefits coffee may have, plus coffee is high in acid.
Also, coffee is one of the most notorious teeth stainers. So if you have to have your cup of joe every morning, don’t add cream or sugar, and be sure to brush and floss regularly.
Breakfast should get you going and ready to face the day, not bring you down with a bunch of dental problems. So, when you’re making your morning meal, be sure to consider what you may be doing to your teeth.
Contact Serafimov Dental to schedule an appointment with your general dentist in St. Paul today.