DIET AND DENTAL HELATH
Not only is your diet important to your
general health, it is also important to your dental health. If you
do not eat a balanced diet, you are more likely to get tooth decay
and gum disease. Developing teeth can also be affected. Children
who have a poor diet are more likely to have dental problems. Likewise,
pregnant women need balanced diets for their babies' teeth to develop
DIET AND TOOTH DECAY
How does the food you eat cause tooth decay? When you eat, food
passes through your mouth. Here it meets the germs, or bacteria,
that live in your mouth. You may have heard your dentist talk about
plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria.
These bacteria love sugars and starches found in many foods. When
you don't clean your teeth after eating, plaque bacteria use the
sugar and starch to produce acids that can destroy the hard surface
of the tooth, called enamel. After a while, tooth decay occurs. The
more often you eat and the longer foods are in your mouth, the more
CHOOSE FOODS WISELY
Some foods that you would least expect contain sugars or starches.
Some examples are fruits, milk, bread, cereals and even vegetables.
The key to choosing foods wisely is not to avoid these foods,
but to think before you eat. Not only what you eat but when you eat
makes a big difference in your dental health. Eat a balanced diet
and limit between-meal snacks. If you are on a special diet, keep
your physician's advice in mind when choosing foods. For good dental
health, keep these tips in mind when choosing your meals and snacks.
TIPS FOR BETTER DENTAL HEALTH
To get a balanced diet, eat a variety of foods. Choose foods
from each of the five major food groups:
- breads, cereals and other grain products
- meat, poultry and fish
- milk, cheese and yogurt
Limit the number of snacks that you eat. Each time you eat food
that contains sugars or starches, the teeth are attacked by acids
for 20 minutes or more.
If you do snack, choose nutritious foods, such as cheese, raw
vegetables, plain yogurt, or a piece of fruit.
Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm. More
saliva is released during a meal, which helps wash foods from the
mouth and helps lessen the effects of acids.
Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste that has the American
Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
Clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners.
Visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur while they are easy to treat.
Copyright © American Dental Association