Diet vs. Teeth

What you eat affects your teeth!

If your diet consists of sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks and non-nutritional snacks, you could be at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay happens when plaque comes in contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth. If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it is more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infections and could contribute to gum disease. Severe gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

The good news? Tooth decay is entirely preventable. For good dental health, keep these tips in mind when choosing your meals and snacks:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups:
    • Whole grains
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Lean sources of protein
    • Low-fat and fat-free dairy foods

To control the amount of sugar you eat, read the nutrition facts and ingredients labels on food and beverages and choose options that are lowest in sugar. The frequency of sugar intake creates more susceptibility to cavities. For example, drinking a sweet tea or soda with a meal doesn’t significantly increase the risk of tooth decay. However, sipping on sugary/acidic drinks throughout the day does increase the risk of tooth decay.

Always remember to brush your teeth and floss (at least) twice per day and visit your dentist regularly. With routine dental care, your dentist can help prevent oral problems from occurring and catch those that do occur in their early stages, when they are most treatable. If you’re overdue for a routine dental visit, give me a call!