Your Health /
I have hands down never received better care. They listen, they do their jobs, and they still have time for a laugh before you go. -Teresa
What you eat and how often you eat can affect your teeth. American are consuming foods and drinks high in sugar and starches more often and in larger portions than ever before. It is clear that "junk" foods and sugary drinks have gradually replaced nutritious beverages and foods for many people. It is not alarming that a steady diet of sugary foods and drinks can ruin teeth, especially among those who snack throughout the day. Common activities may be contributing to the tendency toward tooth decay. These include "grazing" habitually on foods with minimal nutritional value, and frequently sipping on sugary drinks.
The Dietary Guidelines advise us to limit consumption of empty calories such as sweets and consume more "nutrient dense" foods. Soda pop is essentially liquid candy, and unfortunately, Americans drink way too much. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average American teenager drinks 24 oz. a day. This translates to 20 teaspoons of sugar a day adding up to 130 pounds of sugar every year! When sugar is consumed over and over again in large amounts the harmful effect on teeth can be dramatic. Sugar on teeth supplies food for bacteria which produces acid. The acid in turn can eat away at the enamel on the teeth.
If pre-teens and teenagers are drinking soda pop in place of milk or water, significant health problems might result. The teen years are a critical time for healthy bone formation. If teens do not get enough calcium from sources such as dairy, they place themselves at a much greater risk for developing osteoporosis later in adulthood.
Your body is like a complex machine that needs daily attention if you want it to run well. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you "fill up" may affect the health of your entire body, including teeth and gums. Without a balanced diet, your body cannot function efficiently, and health problems including obesity, nutrient deficiencies, and cavities can result.
Reduce Your Risk of Tooth Decay:
- If you choose to consume sugary drinks, do so with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
- Limit between-meal snacks. If you crave a snack, choose nutritious foods, and consider chewing sugarless gum afterward. Sugarless gum increases salvia flow and helps wash out food and decay-producing acid.
- Drink MORE water. Consuming optimally fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay.
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.
- See your dentist regularly.
Check out our blog for more information on prevenative care:
- Floss or Die: The Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene on Your Body
- Soda Pop Causes Similar Damage to Teeth as Illegal Drugs
- The Link Between Your Diet and Cavities: It's More Than Just Soda
- Nutrition, Teeth, and Good Health
- Gum Disease and Your Heart: What You Need to Know
- The Benefit of Digital Dental Radiographs
- The Importance of Dental X-rays and Your Protection from Radiation