Do you have a sweet tooth? Did you know that if you consume too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or candies, you could be at risk for tooth decay?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), cavities have long been linked with a diet rich in sugary, sticky foods as well as poor oral health habits.
The foods you choose and how often you eat them can affect not only your general health, but the health of your teeth and gums.
Potential damage to your mouth starts the minute you eat certain foods. The bacteria in your mouth transforms sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids, and it is the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process.
Tips for Optimal Oral Health
Every food you eat or beverage you drink comes in contact with your teeth. Therefore, it is important to make healthy nutrition choices. This means straying away from sugary, sticky, and acidic foods and drinks.
You do not have to skip eating or drinking these items all together, instead you’ll want to focus on eating a well-balanced diet that boosts your intake of tooth-friendly nutrients. Here are a few nutrition tips on how you can avoid issues for your teeth:
Fiber-rich Fruits and Vegetables
Eating fibrous foods (apples, carrots, almonds, etc.) encourage saliva flow which is a natural defense against cavities. Saliva allows for the washing away of food particles and cleans your mouth.
Avoid Sugary Candies and Sweets That Stay In Your Mouth
If you love sweets, eat candies that clear out of your mouth quickly. Candies that stick around—lollipops, caramels, gummies and hard candies — make it difficult for saliva to clean the sugar away.
If you eat these candies, try to limit when you eat them, and be sure to brush your teeth once finished.
Be Careful Of Acidic Foods
While eating fruit is an important part of a healthy diet, citrus fruits and certain other types of fruit are acidic, which may affect your tooth enamel.
When you are eating acidic fruits try pairing them with a meal as opposed to eating them on their own, this will help prevent damage to your teeth.
Incorporate Enough Calcium In To Your Diet
Studies have shown that people who get the recommended daily amount of calcium are less likely to develop gum disease.
Adults should get at least 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium daily, depending on their age, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.
Along with milk and other dairy products, foods that are high in calcium include beans, almonds, and leafy greens, the ADA says.
Be aware of the amount of sugar in your drinks. You can check the amount of sugar contained in your drinks by checking the label. Research suggests for men to not exceed 37.5 grams of sugar per day and women 25 grams.
If you’re thirsty, opt for a glass of water or unsweetened coffee and tea. You can also add fruits or a mint to give your water some flavor. However, plain water is best to protect the teeth and has many other health benefits.
Chew Sugar-free Gum
If you are having a hard time sticking to these nutrition suggestions, try sugar-free chewing gum. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal or snack reduces the risk of cavities.
This is because chewing gum encourages saliva production and moves away the materials that can lead to tooth decay.
The ADA says the increased saliva also adds calcium and phosphate to the mouth, which makes tooth enamel stronger. You will also obtain the added benefit of fresh-smelling breath.
With these healthy nutrition guidelines and the help of Dental Excellence Intergrative Center, you can reduce your risk of enamel erosion and cavities, and keep your smile beautiful and healthy!
Example of Social Media Post
Got a sweet tooth? Did you know that if you consume too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or candies, you could be at risk for tooth decay?!
Potential damage to your mouth starts the minute you eat certain foods. The bacteria in your mouth transforms sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids, and it’s the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process. (SWIPE LEFT for a few tips on how to keep your smile sparkling).