One of the biggest festivals of Bharat, Diwali is here. On the occasion of Diwali, houses across the country are decorated with beautiful diyas, lights and rangoli.
But Diwali is incomplete without delicious and tempting sweets and dishes. At the same time, it is important to mention that whenever we eat/drink sugary or refined food or beverages, we predispose ourselves to tooth decay or gum diseases.
Food particles that are left in the mouth form a sticky invisible biofilm on the tooth surface called plaque. When bacteria comes into contact with plaque, this plaque is converted to acid. This acid attacks the outermost layer of the teeth (that is enamel) leading to tooth decay.
With time, tooth decay converts to tooth sensitivity, tooth pain and if left untreated lead to tooth loss. But this festive season, you do not have to feel guilty for wanting delicious feasts.
Teeth-friendly Ingredients Will Satisfy Cravings
There are many teeth-friendly ingredients which you can use to make feasts that will not only help in satisfying your craving but will also help in keeping your beautiful and healthy smile intact.
It is advised to avoid foods containing artificial colour/ refined oil as it can harm your oral cavity. Instead, opt for food that promotes a healthy mouth.
- Milk is the best natural source of calcium. This helps in good growth of teeth and jaws. Milk is not only important for children’s growth but also for denture wearers to maintain optimum density of jaw bones. Calcium decreases risk of tooth decay.
- Paneer has essential vitamins and minerals. Paneer replenishes calcium needed for teeth health.
- Fruits are essential for dental health. For good dental health, fibre-rich crunchy food should be chosen as compared to boiled vegetables.
- These crunchy foods will help in the secretion of saliva which will not only wipe out bacteria causing dental caries but will also neutralise the acid produced by bacteria.
- Vitamins and minerals content in these foods help to protect gums and teeth.
- Nuts (like fox nuts or makhana, almonds, pista) need to be munched.
- Adding nuts to sweets breaks- up the stickiness, thus preventing tooth decay.
- Consider adding extra nuts to the sweets to prevent sugar from sticking to teeth.
- Eating sesame seeds prevents hunger pangs. This will in return, prevent reduction in consumption of sugary food leading to tooth decay.
- Coconut helps in decreasing plaque build-up on teeth and reduces inflammation to fight gum diseases.
- Rajgira is one of the richest sources of calcium. Adding this to your diet prevents osteoporosis.
- Oats are an example of whole grains. Oats contain slowly digestible starches that in turn help in protection against tooth decay and gum diseases.
- Lemon contains Vitamin C that helps in maintaining proper gum health. Eating one piece of citrus fruit like lemon will prevent bleeding gums.
- Dark chocolate is a good source of polyphenols that limit harmful oral bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
Food particles that are left in the mouth form a sticky invisible biofilm on the tooth surface called plaque. When bacteria comes into contact with plaque, this plaque is converted to acid. This acid attacks the outermost layer of the teeth (that is enamel) leading to tooth decay
Some of the tooth- friendly sweets are-
2. Oats Apple Phirni
3. Coconut ladoo
4. Apple Rabri
5. Mixed Fruit Shrikhand
6. Faldhari Badam Barfi
7. Paneer Kheer
8. Mysore Pak (for denture wearers)
9. Mixed Dry Fruit Ladoo
10. Til ke Ladoo
Along with this, try consuming salad made up of green leafy vegetables in lunch and dinner
Every effort should be made to drink coconut water at regular intervals. Coconut water not only boosts immunity but also prevents dry mouth.
Though, choosing a healthy diet is the first step in improving overall oral hygiene. But along with a healthy diet, our oral habits need to change a bit too.
This Diwali, adopt a good oral health care routine-
1. Brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste (or as advised by your dentist) and an ultra-soft toothbrush.
It is important to note not to brush immediately after eating sugary foods as it can lead to tooth erosion instead wait for 20 to 30 minutes and then brush teeth.
2. Tongue harbours harmful micro- organisms which can lead to oral health problems. It is advised to clean the tongue with a tongue scraper twice a day.
3. Food particles that stick in between teeth can lead to tooth decay. To prevent food particles from sticking to teeth. It is advised to floss twice a day.
Flossing can be done with a manual dental floss or powered dental flosser.
4. As we all know that COVID-19 is not over yet, it is of paramount importance to gargle with warm saline water twice a day. Warm saline gargles not only prevent COVID-19 infection but also promote good gum health.5. It is important to note that we should not use our teeth as tools for piercing tapes and cutting thread.
6. During Diwali vacations, if you are planning to go on a trip then remember not to exchange toothbrushes with each other as it can lead to transfer of harmful micro-organisms.
7. It is important to note that during the festive season stay hydrated. Drinking water at regular intervals prevents dry mouth which in turn prevents oral health problems. Along with this, try to rinse your mouth with plain water after eating.
8. Stress causes people to grind their teeth. This leads to erosion of the outer surface of teeth. If you think you have a habit of grinding teeth or you experience pain in your jaws after you wake up in the morning. You should discuss this with your dentist, your dentist will suggest you a mouthguard which will prevent tooth decay.
9. Do not forget to visit your dentist for a dental check-up before and after Diwali is over.
10. One should never perform stunts like burning crackers in mouth. This is very harmful not only to craniofacial structures but also to our whole body.