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Thomas J. Skleba, DDS, FAGD

Sarah S. Brewer, DMD

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Dentistry and a Balanced Diet

Dentistry and a Balanced Diet

Published on February 8th, 2016

iStock_000030160210_Double compressedAs far as your dental health is concerned, it might seem like the only time food matters is when it’s stuck to your teeth. But just like every other aspect of your health, your diet affects your dental health, too. Wise food choices can keep your teeth healthy and shining where less careful choices can lead to decay and deterioration. The following are Cary Dental Associates’ guidelines for a tooth-friendly diet.

Limit Consumption of Sugars

Your mouth is full of bacteria which are constantly multiplying and forming plaque on your teeth. No matter how well or often you brush, there will always be a few. They feed on the sugars in the food you eat, and give off acids as a by-product of their digestion. The more sugar you eat, the more acid they produce, which can damage your teeth and accelerate decay. Make sure to limit your sugar intake. Be aware of the sugar content of your foods, including natural sugars like those in fruit. If you are going to eat sugary foods, it better to eat them at mealtimes than as snacks throughout the day, as full meals encourage your body to produce more saliva, which helps clean food from your teeth and dilutes acids. With less sugar within their reach and more saliva to wash it away, bacteria will be limited in their ability to damage your teeth.

Be Careful with Acidic Foods and Drinks

Acids from other sources can also weaken your teeth. If you are eating acidic foods shortly before brushing your teeth, you can actually brush away your weakened dental enamel. To prevent this, wait at least half an hour after consuming acidic foods and drinks before brushing your teeth—or avoid them altogether. Soft drinks are one of the biggest offenders, containing excessive sugar and also being one of the most acidic products people regularly consume. If you can limit soda and other acidic foods in your diet, your teeth will last longer and stay brighter.

Get Enough Minerals

Fluoride and other minerals are constantly being leached from your teeth by bacteria and need to be replenished by your body. The foods you eat supply most of these needs. Make sure to eat lots of mineral-rich foods that are good for your teeth and bones, and also use a fluoride toothpaste to keep your tooth enamel strong.

Listen to Your Dentist

We want to see your teeth stay healthy and bright. At your next exam, ask us how you can improve your diet for better dental health. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you on your way to a brighter, whiter smile. Schedule an appointment today!

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