Oral Conditions and Dietary Choices

General
What we eat can directly or indirectly affect our health. That includes health of our teeth as well. As a general rule, one should eat what nature has provided for us. Special craze for certain foods are going to create an imbalance. Similarly, a disliking for certain foods or food types may, over time, cause deficiency of some essentials. However, certain oral and dental conditions may impose limitations on what we can eat. These conditions are discussed below.

Wearing Dental Braces

Millions of people ear dental braces for one reason or the other. Some people may wear them simply for aesthetic reasons, while others may have to keep them on for compelling medical reasons. In either case the wearer will face certain limitations as to what foods he or she may enjoy. The general guide line is that braces are, despite the strength of the wire, quite delicate. They may break or dislodge if you use too much of food which is hard, chewy, or sticky, such as chocolate, caramel and candies. Similarly, fruit and raw vegetables which needed to be bitten into like apples, pears, and carrots are likely to damage your braces unless you can precut or chop them into small bites. Example of foods which can be safely eaten are Applesauce, avocado, baked apples, canned or cooked fruit, chicken or tuna salad, cooked vegetables, couscous, quinoa, bulgur, soft-cooked rice, hummus, macaroni and cheese, mashed bananas, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, oatmeal, pancakes, pasta.

Chewing Problems

Chewing can be made difficult by various causes including improper dentures and braces, tooth decay, disease of gum etc. Of course, the priority action is to treat the cause, but eating soft fruit, well cooked vegetables, rice and other soft foods is permitted. Also avoiding the affected side of your jaw will help. Foods not recommended for braces are also not recommended in any of these chewing problems.

Swallowing Problems
In case you have a swallowing problem, again the priority is on treatment. In the meanwhile, it is recommended to avoid foods and beverages which are very hot, alcoholic beverages, caffeine, spicy foods, popcorn, bran cereal, nuts, cottage cheese (unless pureed), skins of fruits, celery, sticky and dry foods like cake, bread, banana, and peanut butter. Recommended are thick liquid foods like cereal, custard, pudding, yogurt, honey: nectar like liquids e.g., fruit and vegetable juices, cream soup, milk shakes; and foods which quickly dissolve once in the mouth like ice cream, broth, gelatin, and yogurt.
Depending on level of swallowing difficulty, the following foods may be included in the diet. These foods are grouped into four different categories:

In the Case of Dry Mouth

Persistent dryness of mouth is to be taken seriously. This indicates some disorder which be within the oral cavity or outside, but must not be ignored. Medical help should be sought immediately. In the meantime avoid alcohol and tobacco (smoking or chewing), caffeine bearing beverages, and spicy foods. If salt causes discomfort in the mouth avoid that too. At the same time, drink water frequently, chew sugar free gum, and sugar less candy (to promote saliva).

When Suffering from Canker Sores
Avoid foods which irritate the mouth, that is, spicy, acidic, chilly foods, and citrus fruit. Foods like cooked vegetables (canned or fresh), dairy products, preferably low fat, fruit, and cereals can be eaten. Also, boiled and shredded meats, custard, pudding, eggs, soup, all can be taken without addition of chillies and spices.

If you had Oral Surgery and Implants
You will need to consume liquid and soft foods for some time till your mouth heals. Your actual diet will depend on the nature and extent of the surgery, and the recovery period. It is best to opt for nutritious foods such as eggs, fruit, lean meats, dairy products (low fat), etc. the diet should be supplemented with vitamins and minerals as advised by your doctor.

It is Possible
Any type of dietary change, whether for oral or other bodily fitness, can be hard to start and stick with. The right motivation is key. Daily reminders, setting goals, or recording a food diary can all help you maintain a healthier, happier smile.

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