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How Does Salt Impact Your Smile?

January 12, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — allhappysmiles @ 5:37 am
A close-up of a salt shaker against a blue background

Chances are you know sugar’s effect on teeth. After all, almost everyone grasps that this carb causes tooth decay, cavities, and other dental issues. That said, have you considered the impact salt has on your smile? Depending on its use, the mineral could help or hurt your pearly whites. As such, you’d do well to learn how it alters your mouth. Luckily enough, your Westchase dentist can teach you. Here, then, is a summary of how salt rinses strengthen oral health and salty foods weaken it.

Salt Itself Can Boost Oral Health

When mixed with water, salt can actually be helpful to your teeth and gums. Salt water rinses, you see, have the following effects:

  • Mouth Wound Care – Salt water rinses are great for mouth wounds you have. If you’ve had oral surgery recently, doing one will even help to reduce swelling.
  • pH Restoration – Salt helps to increase the pH balance in your mouth, making it hard for abrasive bacteria to survive by creating an alkaline environment.
  • Sore Treatment – By removing harmful germs and decreasing inflammation, salt rinses relieve canker sore pain.

At the same time, salt is useful when used as a toothpaste ingredient. The mineral helps make a foaming detergent, which then keeps the paste in your mouth.

Salty Foods Hurt Smiles

While salt rinses are fine and good for your mouth, the same isn’t true of a salty diet. In fact, the latter often causes cavities and other problems.

You see, high-salt foods tend to be snack products filled with carbohydrates. Eating them lets their simple carbs promote oral bacteria and tooth-eroding acids. From there, plaque can build up and damage your enamel and gums.

Adding insult to injury, excess sodium can also weaken teeth and bones. A salty diet increases the calcium lost through urine, depriving you of a key, tooth-building mineral. In other words, this loss can damage teeth and even raise the risk of osteoporosis.

How to Get the Most from Sodium

Thankfully, getting the right amount of salt for your teeth is simple enough. It’s just a matter of following two crucial steps.

First, limit your intake of high-sodium foods. Doing so will reduce the number of carbs that attract harmful bacteria to your smile.

Secondly, do a salt water rinse now and again. This practice will relieve mouth pain, reduce oral infections, and combat harmful bacteria. For the rinse itself, mix  ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and stir until it’s dissolved. From there, just swish the solution for 30 seconds, spit it out, and repeat as needed.

As you can see, salt should be taken more seriously as a part of your oral health. Therefore, try to remember the tips above from your Westchase dentist.

About the Practice

Happy Smiles is based in Westchase, FL, and Clearwater, FL. Led by Dr. Mamata Ponnaganti, our practice offer top-quality dental care for all ages. As such, we perform preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatments, as well as emergency procedures. Our office is even a certified provider of Six Month Smiles® brackets and wires. For more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (813)-818-4520.

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