The newsLINK Group - Preventing Decay through Good Nutrition

Editorial Library Category: General Business | Dental | General Dentistry Topics: Dental, Teeth Health Title: Preventing Tooth Decay through Good Nutrition Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is more complicated than just cleaning your teeth and avoiding sugar-heavy foods, although these two things are definitely important steps to take. You also need to pay attention to exactly what foods you eat and when you eat them. Editorial: Preventing Tooth Decay through Good Nutrition 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Healthy Diet, Healthy Teeth Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is more complicated than just cleaning your teeth and avoiding sugar-heavy foods, although these two things are definitely important steps to take. You also need to pay attention to exactly what foods you eat and when you eat them. Eating a moderate amount of healthy food three or four times a day, being sure to eat a wide variety of foods, and supplementing if necessary with an appropriate amount of vitamins B, C, and D will provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Your teeth will be stronger and your gums will be healthier. You will also have a more effective immune system, which means you will be less likely to develop any illness, including oral ones. Liquid Candy and Other Sweets Soda has two bad effects on your health: you are more likely to be overweight or obese if you drink it, and it puts refined sugar in direct, prolonged contact with your teeth, so you are also more likely to develop cavities. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people get more refined sugar from drinking soda than from any other source. More than that, soda also contains phosphoric acid. Any kind of acid is hard on your teeth because it eats away at the enamel on your teeth, weakening the tooth’s structure and making it easier for your teeth to decay. One of the smartest beverages you can drink is filtered water. If you must drink soda, at least limit the quantity and the frequency. When you are trying to minimize sweets in your diet, remember that you can find it in unexpected places like gum, cough drops, and breath mints. Get in the habit of reading labels to see how much sugar is in your food (such as high fructose corn syrup in cereal), and don’t forget that even the sugar in fruit can hurt your teeth; it is still sugar, even if it is otherwise healthier for your body. Advice for Meals Some people advise you to eat six small meals a day. However, it’s probably better for your teeth if you don’t, unless you are really good about brushing your teeth after every meal. Cariogenic bacteria in your mouth loves sugars and starches. After feasting on your meal, the bacteria then produce acid byproducts that attack your teeth for 20 minutes after you stop eating. The more frequently you eat, the more time these bacteria have to attack. Meals give you an opportunity to combine foods. When you eat a full meal, your mouth makes more saliva than it does in between meals, and the saliva neutralizes the acid in your foods (especially those that are starchy or that have a tendency to stick to your teeth). Other foods don’t encourage the growth of the bacteria behind developing cavities, so including them in your meal can also be a benefit. Some of the foods that don’t encourage tooth decay work well as a snack or perhaps as part of dessert, such as nuts or cheese; others are not really typical snack material, such as onions. Green tea and black tea also effectively discourage cariogenic bacterial growth, unless you add sugar to them. Dental plaque has over 300 species of bacteria that stick to your teeth and create acid. Green tea contains natural fluorine, is antibacterial, and can also prevent bad breath by killing other oral bacteria that doesn’t hurt your teeth but does makes your breath stink. Black tea contains polyphenols that either kill the bacteria, prevent it from growing, or prevent it from producing acid. The Best Snacks People often select starchy or sweet foods for snacks. If these foods are sticky, or if they take some time to dissolve, that gives harmful bacteria an additional opportunity to destroy your teeth. You will do better by choosing foods such as fruits and vegetables, cheese and nuts, meats, plain yogurt — especially Greek yogurt — peanut butter, and popcorn. Nuts are not a good choice for young children and those with nut

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