There are many connections between tooth decay and one’s diet. Dr. Nicholas Kemp, your dentist serving Yorkville, can advise the best ways to care for your teeth by maintaining good dental habits and eating a healthy diet. After all, a well-balanced diet leads to maintaining a healthy body. A healthy body will contribute to maintaining healthy teeth.
You might wonder how the foods we eat and beverages we drink can cause tooth decay. When we eat and drink, as food passes through our mouth it meets up with the bacteria and germs already present. This bacteria loves the sugar found in many foods and beverages. And unless you brush and floss every time you eat or drink something, your mouth bacteria use the sugar in foods to form a sticky film called plaque. Plaque bacteria work with these sugars to produce acids that can destroy the hard surface covering our teeth called enamel. Over time, the damage done leads to dental decay.
Ironically most all foods contain some type of sugar. Some foods you would expect to be the healthiest like fruits, milk, bread, cereals and even vegetables can contain sugar. But your dentist would recommend you eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from all the major food groups: bread, cereals and grains; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and milk, cheese and yogurt.
In addition, limit snacking. But if you do snack, make sure your snacks are nutritious foods like vegetables, fruit, cheese, nuts or yogurt. It is important to remember that foods consumed during meals will do less damage as more saliva is produced during meals, and saliva will help wash away foods from the mouth and lessen the amount of damage done by acids.
Another very important fact about our diet has to do with the type of beverages consumed. It is a well-documented fact that when teeth come in steady contact with soft drinks or other beverages containing sugar, the risk of developing dental decay does increase. The best alternative is readily available, contains no sugar, and is the best option for keeping the body hydrated. Of course, that is water.
Regular visits to your dentist, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily plus daily flossing can only supplement a healthy diet to aid in preventing tooth decay. Eat a diet with the essential vitamins and nutrients to keep your body healthy, and you will be doing the best thing to keep your mouth healthy as well.