Dieting and Your Teeth

In today’s socially appropriate and image orientated world food has been blamed for causing a host of maladies from diabetes to obesity. Increasingly people are watching what they eat to manage their weight but what about the importance of Dieting and Your Teeth. What you eat and how often you eat are important factor to prevent cavities and maintain good oral health.

The process is rather straight forward, changes in your mouth start the minute you eat certain foods. Bacteria in your mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids. These acids then begin to attack the enamel on your teeth, starting the decay process. The more often you eat and snack, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay.

So what types of food choices are better for you to minimize the risk of damage? Some of the best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk because they provide calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids). Other food choices include firm/crunchy fruits (as example, apples and pears) and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid).

Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them. Poor food choices include candy, cookies, cakes, pies, breads, muffins, potato chips, pretzels, french fries, bananas, raisins, and other dried fruits. These foods contain large amounts of sugar and/or can stick to teeth, providing a fuel source for bacteria. The average Canadian eats the equivalent of 40 kg of sugar each year.

The best beverage choices include water (especially fluoridated water), milk, and unsweetened tea. Limit your consumption of sugar-containing drinks, including soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar.

The Canadian Dental Association recommends these great-tasting snacks that won’t harm your teeth:

  • Plain milk and buttermilk;
  • Fruit and raw vegetables;
  • Plain yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese;
  • Hard boiled or devilled eggs;
  • Nuts, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds;
  • Melba toast; and
  • Salads.

It’s important knowing that Dieting and Your Teeth are related. A poor diet can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. That’s why our professionals at Dentrix Dental Care hope that you’ll use us as a resource for your dental care, treatment, and information you need to transform your habits and get started on improving the state of your teeth and gums. If you have questions about nutrition and your oral health, give us a call at (403) 288-5500 to reach our Market Mall clinic and (403) 289-9908 to reach our North Hill clinic.