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How to Eat With Dental Health in Mind

Did you know that what you eat and how often you eat can play a role in your overall dental health and whether you get cavities? That’s because food can affect your mouth and teeth long after you swallow that last bite. The minute you begin to eat certain foods, bacteria in your mouth work to make acids, which start the process that can lead to cavities. How does this happen?

All carbohydrate foods break down into simple sugars: fructose, glucose, lactose, and maltose. Depending on the type of carbohydrate it is will determine where it breaks down: in your mouth or further along in the digestive tract. Fermentable carbohydrates, which include the obvious sugary foods such as cookies and cakes, as well as bread, crackers, bananas, and breakfast cereals, will work with bacteria to form acids that begin the decay process and eventually destroy your teeth. The acids dissolve minerals inside the tooth enamel in a process called demineralization. Fortunately, you can regain minerals through saliva, fluoride, and some foods.

Your dental health largely depends on whether minerals are being lost faster than they are being regained inside the tooth enamel. The longer food stays near tooth bacteria, the more acids will be produced. The tricky part is when you eat something that is likely to burrow its way into the nooks and crannies of your teeth, such as raisins or potato chips. Some things you can do to help look after your dental health:

1. Limit between-meal snacking: fewer snacks mean fewer opportunities for acid exposure. The best snacks if you must are cheese, chicken or other meats, or nuts as they tend to neutralize acids or help remineralize your teeth.

2. Limit the amount of drinks with sugar, such as coffee and tea with added sugar, fruit juices, and more. If you’re going to drink sugary drinks, try to do them with a meal or limit the amount of time it takes to finish the drink. The less exposure, the better!

3. Brush your teeth regularly, especially after eating and drinking sugary drinks.

4. Avoid hard candies and mints, as they can increase the acid produced by bacteria to expedite the decay process. Choose sugarless varieties if you must.

healthy food

To learn more about ways you can improve your dental health, make an appointment with Olney Dental today.  You can reach us at (301) 250-1057 or, you can schedule an appointment online.You can also connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and YouTube.


This entry was posted on Monday, January 5th, 2015 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.