The foods that you choose affect more than just your waist line. Your entire body is connected, from your teeth to your toes, and what you eat has direct causes and effects on the entire body. Many people overlook how foods and beverages affect their teeth, making poor choices that leave them with serious and unwanted consequences. Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, yet it is entirely preventable by good dietary choices and a solid oral health care routine.
Tooth decay is caused by plaque on the teeth. Plaque is the sticky, white film that builds up on the teeth each day. It’s what you feel when you rub your tongue along your teeth and feel a “fuzzy” coating along the gum line and the surfaces of your teeth. This plaque is laden with millions of acid-producing bacteria that attack the teeth.
The bacteria inside the mouth are most attracted to sugars in the foods and beverages that you consume. It is not only important to control the amount of sugars that you consume for your weight, heart health, and prevention of diabetes; it is also essential that you control the amount of sugar that you consume for your oral health. Common sources of unnecessary sugar come from soft drinks, candies, ice cream, cakes, cookies, and pastries. A diet that is high in sugar not only sets the teeth up for decay, but it also makes it more difficult for the tissues in your mouth to resist infection. This combination sets the mouth up for a lose-lose situation.
Making good dietary choices is essential for your entire body’s health. Drinking plenty of water, eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables in their natural forms, consuming lean sources of protein including lean meat, dry beans, and other legumes, and choosing low-fat dairy products will help keep your mouth – and your entire body – healthy and strong.
Partnering good dietary choices with daily flossing and brushing at least twice a day will prevent oral health care problems from occurring. At Siena Dental we care about our patients, and we want to help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile for life.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Dave Mahon, Siena Dental
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