Fast food has become a staple of modern eating. When you have a hectic schedule, it is so much easier for you to hit the drive-through than prepare something fresh at home from scratch. Unfortunately, as you might also know – fast food is not the healthiest option and should be avoided.
Not only can consuming fast food lead to life-long health problems, such as obesity and diabetes, it also can increase your risk of developing cavities and gum disease. If you are a regular fast food eater, you should read and share this article on how it impacts your oral health.
The Connection of Fast Food and Oral Health
1 Salt and sugar are bad for oral health
The basic reason fast food is so bad for oral health is its added sugar and salt. When you eat these foods, debris is more likely to stick to your teeth. This food debris allows acids to build upon the surface of your teeth. Eventually, this causes tooth cavities and tooth decay.
Research on fast foods has proved that a single fast-food meal contains 1,300 mg of sodium. This amount of sodium is more than half of the upper recommended limit for a single day.
Your teeth rely on calcium to produce strength and structure. Consuming a high-sodium diet will cause your body to excrete calcium leading to tooth loss and even osteoporosis in the long run.
2 Soda pop can wear down tooth enamel
When you grab a cheeseburger at a fast-food joint, you will probably order a soda pop. The sugars found in carbonated beverages will affect and break down your tooth enamel, making them more prone to tooth decay and cavities.
The sugar content of these carbonated drinks erodes your tooth enamel and makes them prone to tooth decay and cavities. Just imagine one 12-ounce can of soda contains ten teaspoons of sugar. Far more than what the American Heart Association recommends for an entire day.
3 Diabetes can impact gum health
As mentioned, if you eat fast food regularly, it can increase the risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes can then lead to dental problems.
Several studies have confirmed that people who have diabetes are at higher risk of having periodontal disease. Hence it becomes imperative for people who already have diabetes to maintain good blood glucose levels. Only then can they prevent its impact on their oral health.
Soda also can add 156 excess calories to your daily intake. The sugar in soda can be linked to various health problems, like diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, and arthritis. But soda is not the only culprit.
Other beverages like fruit juice, energy drinks, lemonade, iced tea, sports drinks, coffee drinks, and sweetened waters are harmful to your waistline as well as to your gum line.
4 Find alternatives to fast food
If you want to protect your teeth and at the same time promote good oral hygiene for the rest of your family, you should look for alternatives to fast food.
Even if you have no time to prepare fresh meals at home, there are other means of getting your nutrition without damaging your teeth. When you need to eat out, you should select items less likely to stick to your teeth, such as salads and fresh food.
You should also avoid soda pop and other carbonated beverages. Instead, the best option is to save money and your teeth by ordering water.
5 Use proper oral hygiene habits
It is also a good idea to practice and encourage good oral hygiene. You do not need to completely give up fast food, but you can decrease the damage that it causes.
The oral bacteria thrive on sugar produced in your mouth with foods rich in carbohydrates. The interaction between these simple sugars and oral bacteria creates harsh acids in your mouth that damage your teeth. Your tooth enamel erodes, leading to tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, gum disease, and more.
For example, you can always brush your teeth and floss after eating fast food. If you do not have a toothbrush and floss available, you can chew on sugarless gum. If you can remove the buildup of food debris, you can limit the harm caused by eating fast food.
Fast Food is a Big NO for Children
Oral hygiene and dental have a close connection and play a key role from childhood. If you want your children to have a strong and beautiful smile, no cavities or toothache, try to reduce fast food or junk food intake.
The more children are prone to eating junk food, eating out at the food joints, or you are in the habit of packing food – then stop these habits immediately.
Most parents today are working, follow a hectic lifestyle. Hence they are too busy with their lives to understanding that nutritious food is the most important thing for their child’s overall growth and development.
You might be trying to stop your child from gorging on chocolates, but you also need to ensure they have enough nutritious food available to eat.
It is true that pizza, burgers, fries, and even ham sandwiches are indeed easy choices as they are readily available and even cheaper. But these foods have high sugar content and are low in nutritional value. These food items’ sugary and acidic content erodes your tooth enamel if you consume these fast foods frequently.
The truth is – there is no harm in bringing junk food home once in a while. But for most of you who find it as an easy alternative, think twice before buying them. You probably need to care a little more about the dental health of your little kid who is in their growing years.
Besides healthy, nutritious food, your child needs to be examined regularly by your dentist. You need to ensure that your child is getting the right nutrient content in their daily diet.
Effect of Fast Food on Overall Health
If you maintain poor oral health, it will result in constant dental pain and cavities. Once you start to have cavities, you might have to avoid hard food such as meat, fruits, and vegetables. Which are healthy for your body.
This, in turn, will result in poor nutrition and let your children consume more fast food that is far more comforting to your teeth, such as high sugar beverages. It is a vicious cycle.
Moreover, the consumption of junk food increases your chances of developing serious illnesses. These could be diabetes and obesity, which have long-term implications.
Obesity is a menace and it needs urgent medical attention. The lack of nutritious, healthy food and exposure to junk food has resulted in poor eating habits and other development problems among children.
Therefore, it can be stated that dental health is closely related to fast food, especially in children. As parents, you need to take precautionary measures in order to avoid the intake of junk food in your daily meals.
Fast Food and Tooth Cavities
If you are eating fast food daily, it is hard to quit snacking on fast food altogether. Especially when the festival season is just around the corner, the task becomes even more difficult.
So you know how tough it is to brush and floss after every snack. So what can you do? It is not necessary to quit snacking on fast food completely. You can take many other steps to prevent yourself and your children from ending up at the dental clinic with a tooth cavity or tooth decay.
The abundance of sugar makes fast food so bad for your teeth and gums. Most of our favorite junk foods contain loads of sugar – that is why they are called junk food.
If you frequently snack on these kinds of treats and sip on sugary drinks, your likelihood of tooth decay will increase. The harmful bacteria found naturally in your mouth feed on the sugars in these treats. As a result, they create acids and erode your tooth enamel.
If this tooth decay process progress after a few months, your enamel will start to break down. You might start to notice white spots on your tooth, which will darken to a brownish spot.
During this process, you will start to see small holes develop in your teeth as your enamel is weakened. This indicates the formation of cavities or dental caries.
If you do not brush off these sugars, the acid will continue to eat away your tooth enamel. Thus wearing it down and leading to tooth decay which when severe can lead to a root canal procedure with a dental crown.
Fast Food vs. Healthy Diet
Why is a healthy diet important for your oral health? Your teeth are under acid attack for nearly an hour or even more every time you consume sugary food. This is because the sugar you intake reacts with the bacteria in plaque and chemically produces harmful acid.
Hence you should make an extra effort to control sugary foods or drinks just at mealtimes. This will limit the time your mouth is at risk or is under acid attack.
On the contrary, acidic foods and drinks can also be very harmful. The acid slowly wears away or dissolves the enamel, exposing your teeth’ dentin layer underneath. This can make your teeth more sensitive.
If you have a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and fresh fruit and vegetables, it can help to prevent gum disease. If gum disease is not treated, it could lead to tooth loss and cause bad breath.
Therefore, it can be concluded that your oral health is very important, and you need to take precautionary measures to avoid the intake of junk food. Moreover, you need to visit your dentist at least twice a year and get your teeth examined. Lastly, you need to ensure that you and your family have a daily dose of the right nutrient content in your meals.