Your Diet and Dental Health
Not only is your diet
important to your general health, it is also important to
your dental health. If you do not eat a balanced diet, you are more likely
to get tooth decay and gum disease. Developing teeth can also be affected.
Children who have a poor diet are more likely to have dental problems.
Likewise, pregnant women need balanced diets for their babies' teeth to
How does the food you eat cause tooth
When you eat, food passes through your mouth. Here it
meets the germs, or bacteria, that live in your mouth. You may
have heard your dentist talk about plaque. Plaque is a sticky
film of bacteria. These bacteria love sugars and starches
found in many foods. When you don't clean your teeth after
eating, plaque bacteria use the sugar and starch to produce
acids that can destroy the hard surface of the tooth, called
enamel. After a while, tooth decay occurs. The more often you
eat and the longer foods are in your mouth, the more damage
Some foods that you would least expect
contain sugars or starches. Some examples are fruits, milk,
bread, cereals and even vegetables.
The key to choosing foods wisely is not to
avoid these foods, but to think before you eat. Not only what
you eat but when you eat makes a big difference in your dental
health. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. If
you are on a special diet, keep your physician's advice in mind
when choosing foods. For good dental health, keep these tips in
mind when choosing your meals and snacks.
Tips for better dental health
- To get a balanced diet, eat a variety
of foods. Choose foods from each of the five major food
- breads, cereals and other grain
- meat, poultry and fish
- milk, cheese and yogurt
- Limit the number of snacks that you
eat. Each time you eat food that contains sugars or
starches, the teeth are attacked by acids for 20 minutes or
- If you do snack, choose nutritious
foods, such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, or a
piece of fruit.
- Foods that are eaten as part of a meal
cause less harm. More saliva is released during a meal,
which helps wash foods from the mouth and helps lessen the
effects of acids.
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride
- Clean between your teeth daily with
floss or interdental cleaners.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Your
dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch
those that do occur while they are easy to treat.