Preventive Care: Dental Health and Diet
According to the CDA, “Eating patterns and food choices are important factors that affect the development of tooth decay. Bacteria stick to the film on the teeth called plaque. Bacteria feed on what you eat, especially sugars (including fruit sugars) and cooked starch (bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.). About 5 minutes after you eat, or drink, the bacteria begin making acids as they digest the food. These acids can break down the tooth’s outer surface and dissolve valuable minerals, resulting in cavities. Children and adults consume record amounts of sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and non-nutritious snacks that affect the teeth. These items generally have little, if any nutritional value and over time take a toll on teeth.”
[Diet has a direct effect on overall dental health. Developing good eating habits will lead to excellent oral health that is free of decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends avoiding certain foods that can expedite decay, such as foods high in sugar.]
Did you know…
According to the ADA, snacking between meals – especially on sugar-filled foods – can more rapidly lead to decay than eating the same foods with meals. If snacks are consumed, reach for the toothbrush afterward.
Frequently Asked Questions
When choosing foods, what should I keep in mind?
The CDA and Dr. Grupe recommend the following:
- Variety- Eat foods from all food groups
- Proportionality- Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk, and less foods with sugar, cholesterol and salt
- Moderation- Limit the number and amount of foods containing added sugars, cholesterol, salt
- Activity- Be physically active every day
Should I change my eating habits to better my oral health?
Yes, but never start a new diet without first consulting with a physician. If a special diet is prescribed, be sure to speak with Dr. Grupe to find out which foods will also optimize oral health.
What types of changes may be recommended?
The ADA recommends avoiding sugar and drinking plenty of water. It is also important to consume nutritious foods in order to improve the health of your teeth and gums.
Are there any other habits I should adopt to improve my oral health?
Yes, flossing daily and brushing after eating. In addition, visit Newport-Irvine Dental at least twice per year for oral exams and professional dental cleanings.