There is a direct link between the food you eat and your oral/dental health. As you fast this Navratri, you need to keep in mind that with a change of diet, your dental habits need to change a bit, too. Dr Neetika Modi, dental surgeon at Studio Aesthetique Clinic says it’s important to choose wisely while fasting.
“When we eat or drink sugary foods and beverages, we predispose ourselves to decay and gum disease. Plaque is a thin invisible sticky film of bacteria that covers the surface of our teeth. When sugars and starches come in contact with plaque, acids form, which attack teeth leading to a breakdown of the hard enamel and causing the tooth to decay,” she explains.
Dr Modi advises that starchy foods like potato chips, and sugar-laced beverages need to be avoided as you fast. Instead, opt for foods that promote a healthy mouth. These include:
1. Fruits and fibre-rich fruits: They keep the teeth and gums clean. They also keep saliva flowing. Saliva contains traces of calcium and phosphate. It restores minerals to areas of teeth that have lost them from bacterial acids. Fruits like oranges and grapefruit with high levels of vitamin-C strengthen the blood vessels and connective tissues in the mouth, thus, slowing the mouth of gum inflammation.
2. Buttermilk, plain yogurt, and cheese: They are saliva makers. Rich in calcium, they improve bone health. Adding mint to a glass of buttermilk keeps the mouth fresh.
3. Coconut water: It is an excellent source of nutrients, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, which help build immunity, keeping you hydrated for long and preventing cramps related to fasting.
4. Makhana or foxnuts: Good protein and essential nutrients.
5. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistas: High protein, healthy fat and vitamins.
6. Salads: Fibre-rich and self-cleansing for the mouth, salads are beneficial prebiotics that healthy oral bacteria feed on. Salad helps produce more nitrite-reducing bacteria. In turn, your mouth benefits from an increase in nitric oxide, promoting healthier oral microbiomes.
7. Green and black tea: Contain polyphenols that interact with plaque bacteria, preventing bacteria from growing and making acid.
8. Amaranth rotis and quinoa pulao: Add a whole lot of fibre and quality proteins to your diet.
9. Seeds: They stave off hunger pangs, and raisins and nuts provide prebiotic fibre to the gut.
10. Hydration: Keeping yourself hydrated while you cut down on food is absolutely essential. Keep a bottle full of water and keep sipping from it from time to time. You can add lemon and sabja seeds to it.
“While fasting, the body goes on detox mode. It’s important to get good sleep to prevent dizziness and throbbing headaches,” the doctor says.