Tooth decay and gum disease are two of the most common ailments in modern society, particularly among children. Regular dental care is essential at any age, but prevention is still the best cure. The best way to look after your teeth is through controlling your diet.
Your teeth are attacked by the acid produced by oral bacteria, and some foods encourage plaque and cavity-causing bacteria more than others. In addition to foods and drinks that contain sugars and so directly attack your teeth, poor nutrition in general can weaken your immune system, putting you at greater risk of other disorders, including gum disease.
Food that sticks to your teeth can cause decay faster, and fermentable carbohydrates, such as crackers or chips, can generate acid in the mouth. Eating them in combination with other foods – for instance, having cheese with crackers – can neutralize this effect.
Cheese, along with chicken, nuts and milk, protects tooth enamel by providing re-mineralizing calcium and phosphorous. Also good for your teeth are crunchy fruit and vegetables with a high water content that dilutes their naturally occurring sugars and promotes saliva.
The benefit of saliva
Saliva protects your mouth by washing away bacteria. Drink plenty of water or chew sugar-free gum to encourage your saliva glands. Fewer, larger meals containing a variety of foods are better for your teeth than many small snacks, and one reason for this is that they generate more saliva.
Of course, you still need to brush your teeth regularly using fluoride-containing toothpaste. Floss and use a mouthwash daily, and try to visit your family dentist at least twice a year for a checkup. Kool Smiles is a nationwide dental services provider committed to bringing quality dental care to every family, especially those in underserved or underprivileged communities. Kool Smiles is particularly concerned with the dental health of children, and their offices are fun, friendly environments with play areas. They often partner with local schools and day care centers. You can follow their activities at the Kool Smiles Twitter page.
Avoid sugar whenever possible. This includes cakes, candy and cookies, and even savory snacks such as French fries, potato chips and pretzels. Sugary soft drinks and sodas are also bad news if over-consumed. If you still crave that sugary taste, try sugar substitutes and sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame and sucralose. Natural sweeteners, such as honey or fruit juice, are often as bad for your teeth as processed sugar.
Your diet takes its toll on your teeth gradually, so changing now could save you a lot of pain in the future.
This article is featured on behalf of Luke Swanson.