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Colonial Dental Group Cosmetic Dentistry Blog - Dooley, Lewis, and Quezada

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How Diet Affects Oral Health

To prevent cavities and maintain good oral health, what you eat and how often you eat are important factors. Chemical changes start in your mouth as soon as you eat certain foods. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars from certain foods to acids, and acids begin to attack the enamel on your teeth starting the decay process. The more often you eat and snack, especially sugary foods, the more often you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of tooth decay.

Good food choices include cheese, meats, nuts and milk. These foods protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorous we need to remineralize our teeth (minerals are re-deposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids). Other good food choices are crunchy fruits like apples and vegetables. These foods have a high water content which dilutes the sugars they contain and stimulates the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles).

Poor food choices include all candy, cookies, cakes, pies, potato chips, pretzels, French fries, bananas and dried fruits. These foods contain large amounts of sugar and they can stick to the teeth providing a fuel source for bacteria.

The best beverages to drink are milk, unsweetened tea and water, but you should limit your intake of soft drinks and coffee/tea with sugar.

Chewing sugarless gum is actually beneficial to your teeth because it helps to dislodge food that becomes stuck to your teeth and it also increases saliva flow to help neutralize acids.

Good oral hygiene involves brushing and flossing daily, but you can also pay careful attention to what foods you eat to keep your teeth and gums in good health.

If you would like to learn more about this dental topic or any other, please call or email today to schedule an appointment with the Colonial Dental Group, serving cosmetic dentistry patients in Glenview and throughout the Northern Chicago area.

posted by Patti at 2:23 PM


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