A lot of people wonder about the connection between food and the teeth. Well, anything you eat affects your dental health, positively or negatively. When it comes to your dental health, you are what you eat. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids; the acids begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process. The more often you eat and snack, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay.
FOODS THAT DAMAGE THE TEETH
A poor diet can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Foods high in carbohydrates and starches greatly contribute to the production of plaque acids that attack the tooth enamel. Eventually, these acids can cause tooth enamel to break down, forming a cavity.
Foods that contain sugars of any kind can also contribute to tooth decay. Almost all foods, including milk and vegetables, contain some type of sugar; however; these foods are a necessary part of a healthy diet, because many of them also contain important nutrients.
Foods with added sugars such as soft drinks, candy, cookies and pastries can also contribute to tooth decay. You also need to be careful of taking too much candy — such as lollipops, hard candies, and mints — cookies, cakes, pies, breads, muffins, potato chips, French fries, bananas, raisins, and other dried fruits.BEST FOODS FOR YOUR TEETH
- Apples, can help clean your teeth after eating sugary and sticky foods
- Vegetables like celery and carrots: Fresh fruits and veggies are great alternatives to sugary snacks.
- Cheeses, nuts, and milk: These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).
- Firm/crunchy fruits, such as pears: These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid).
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SIMPLE FOOD TIPS FOR HEALTHY TEETH
- If you do eat foods high in sugar or starch, try to eat them during meals, rather than between meals, and avoid any foods that stick to your teeth, because these can produce more plaque. Saliva production rises during meals, which can help rinse food and acids from the mouth.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes, low-fat and fat-free dairy foods.
- Limit the number of snacks you eat. You could choose something that is healthy like fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.
Hope you will take better care of your teeth this week by watching what and how you eat. To a healthier teeth : )
REFERENCES: Webmd.com Colgate and Mouthhealthy.org