You know that what you eat affects your teeth, but did you know that dental work can directly impact your diet? Here, OKC dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS, offers a bite-sized chunk of wisdom regarding dental work and dining habits.

Braces

Braces are one of the most delicate dental appliances, says the OKC dentist. As such, sticky, hard, and chewy foods are off-limits to wearers. Caramel, corn on the cob, peanut brittle, popcorn, and even bagels can damage braces, potentially prolonging the treatment process. Fortunately, many other delicious and nutritious foods are still on the table including meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peaches, peanut butter, cooked carrots, and pudding.

Canker sores

Canker sores are painful and may be irritated by spicy or acidic foods, according to OKC dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS. Some people find relief from canker sore-related discomfort by eating foods such as scrambled eggs, milk, cheese, and creamy peanut butter. Drinking through a straw and eating high-calorie and protein-rich foods will encourage the healing process.

Xerostomia (dry mouth)

Chronic dry mouth is a medical condition that should be examined by a dentist or healthcare provider. The OKC dentist explains that people suffering from xerostomia should abstain from caffeinated drinks and salty foods. Drinking plenty of water between meals and chewing sugarless gum may help to stimulate saliva production.

Dental implants

Patients who have undergone oral surgery or a dental implant procedure need to pay close attention to their nutrition in the days and weeks following treatment, notes the OKC dentist. A liquid-only or soft food diet may be necessary for up to a week and include soft cheeses, yogurt, ripe peaches, and cream soups. To ensure proper healing, it is important to consume a balanced diet of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.