Many dentists are concerned that their patients are consuming record amounts of sugar-filled sodas and fruit drinks, and non-nutritious snacks that have little if any nutritional value and are taking a toll on their teeth – not to mention the rest of their bodies: the United States Department of Agriculture estimates that more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the US are overweight or obese.
Eating patterns and food choices among children and teens are important factors that affect how quickly youngsters develop tooth decay. When bacteria – plaque – come into contact with sugar in the mouth, acid is produced, which attacks the teeth for 20 minutes or more and can eventually cause cavities.
Along with brushing and flossing, certain foods can benefit your oral health too – in fact there are many, but here we will just mention a few.
- Green Tea
Green tea has been used medicinally for ages and is consumed by millions of people around the world every day. It has a higher number of antioxidants than black tea, which helps explain its many benefits for patients. Among the oral health benefits you can look forward to with your next cup are green tea’s ability to kill cancer-causing free radicals and reduce periodontal inflammation. It is also known to reduce plaque and can interfere with the production of hydrogen sulfide, which causes bad breath.
- Dairy Products
Whether it’s a slice of cheese, a cup of yogurt or a glass of milk, dairy products can have a very positive influence on your smile. For starters, their low acidity protects teeth from decay and promotes a healthier pH. They are also high in calcium and phosphate, which help fortify teeth and bones.
- Fruits & Vegetables
An apple a day really does keep the doctor away, to some extent. The chewing action involved in eating raw fruit massages your gums and helps keep plaque from forming on teeth. Many fruits also contain vitamin C, which is not only good for your overall health, but gum health too. Similarly, the act of eating raw vegetables, which contain an array of important nutrients including vitamin A, helps keep teeth clean and strong, in addition to supporting overall health.
Yes, water. In addition to hydrating the body, water helps you wash away food trapped between the teeth and gives the body extra protection from the development of bacteria and plaque, as it aids the natural neutralizing effects of saliva.
Eat a variety of foods to keep up your overall health. Try eating fewer foods containing sugars and starches between meals, and when you snack, choose nutritious foods like cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, or a firm fruit like the apple.
Diet plays a significant role in both tooth decay and dental erosion. Good nutrition can prevent numer