What and how often we eat can affect our teeth. Bacteria in
the mouth and on the teeth, use the sugar in foods and drinks to make acid that
attack the teeth. Each time we eat or drink, that acid can attack the teeth for
20 minutes or longer. Over time tooth decay can develop and a cavity can form
which will need to be taken care of by a dentist before it develops into
infection and pain.
The types of food you choose to eat can also have an impact
on the health of your teeth. Fortunately for me my wife is a Registered Dietitian
and my family and I have learned to maintain healthy eating habits which in
turn also helps keep our teeth healthier. Some basic tips to keep in mind are
to limit in between meal snacks. Snacking more often means more acid attacks
and a higher risk for tooth decay. If you’re thirsty or need a snack, avoid
cookies, sweet drinks, or sticky foods. Instead drink water, have a fruit,
vegetables sticks with a dip or a yogurt. Limit processed food since they
contain lots of sugar and starch that can increase the acidity of your mouth.
Save sweets for meal time, when the mouth makes more saliva to help rinse out
For good dental and overall health, be sure you’re eating a
mix of foods from the major food groups. For more information about a healthy
diet, see www.choosemyplate.gov.