Our office is dedicated to helping you keep your teeth for life! Your daily diet routine can help protect not only your body but your oral health as well.
Two infectious oral diseases that are directly influenced by diet and nutrition include periodontal or gum disease and tooth decay or cavities.
- Nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin C and magnesium can affect your body’s response to the inflammation and infection caused by gum disease. A well balanced diet will ensure your body can properly fight the disease that 80% of the U.S. population suffers from, periodontal disease which causes you to lose teeth.
- There are a combination of factors are involved in cavity formation, including cavity forming bacteria, tooth structure, food selection, the time the teeth are exposed to an acidic environment and the amount of saliva in the mouth. A few tips below will help you protect your teeth from tooth decay.
There is an easy way to drastically reduce the likelihood of developing cavities. We’ll tell you how!
- After you eat any meal or snack there is a period of time when your teeth are being broken down by naturally occurring acids in food. This destructive time period typically lasts for two hours
- However, simply chewing a piece of gum with xylitol cuts the destructive time down to only 20 minutes
- It works because the chewing gum stimulates saliva, neutralizing acids and rinses away excess sugar residue
- By chewing one piece of sugar-free gum, especially gum with xylitol, you can drastically shorten the time period in which the teeth are being broken down—it’s easy! Examples of gum with Xylitol: Orbit & Trident
Eating habits that may help prevent cavities:
- Firm, fibrous foods such as raw fruits and vegetables; chewing gum; sour foods and citrus fruits stimulate salivary flow. An increase in the flow rate has a positive impact on resistance of teeth to cavities.
- Protein may contribute to buffering effects of saliva. If you consume foods with fat and protein following a carbohydrate, like breads or crackers, it may shorten the period of time the teeth are being broken down. Examples: cheeses, nuts, cocoa products, yogurt & fats (butter/oils). Milk has physical properties like saliva, so an increase consumption of low-fat milk may offer protection against cavities.
- Eat/drink products such as coffee w/ sugar or carbohydrates over shorter period of time to reduce the amount of time the teeth are exposed to an acidic environment. This allows the teeth the opportunity to remineralize or become strong again.
Eating a variety of foods in moderation ensure adequate nutrient intake and the development of healthy eating habits. These are key factors in growth, development and maintenance of the teeth; prevention of dental caries, periodontal disease and general good health. Our Registered Dental Hygienists are here to answer any question you may have on how your diet can improve your oral health and promote whole body wellness.