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Underlying Causes Of Tooth Decay And How Diet Can Help

Healthy Diet Food

Diet is a complex topic that touches on every aspect of our well-being. Your food choices impact every aspect of your health, from your waistline to your gums and teeth. We all know that having too many sugary drinks and eating lots of carbs is a problem for oral health. While many of us know what’s bad for our teeth, few know what’s good for them. Knowing what to eat to promote oral health can help limit tooth decay in all ages. Read on to learn why a healthy dental diet is more than just a list of “don’ts.”

The Underlying Causes Of Tooth Decay And The Role Of Your Diet In It

Most believe that sugars and carbs are the two most prominent players in causing tooth decay. While this view isn’t entirely wrong, it is an incomplete one. Sugars and carbs are consumed by streptococcus mutans, a bacteria that lives in our mouth. This bacteria is the one that is the source of almost all tooth decay. The acids produced as a by-product act on dental enamel, making it softer. This softening weakens your enamel and makes them prone to erosion, which leads to cavities. You can limit the number of sugars and carbs in your diet by checking the labels of your favorite foods. Candy, cookies, pastries, and sugary drinks are the most common sources.   

Dietary Heroes Against Tooth Decay

Very little of the above was likely news to you. We’ve been told how these dietary choices can impact our oral health. We haven’t been told the list of things we can add to our diet to strengthen teeth and gums. There are numerous foods you can enjoy that can help your teeth in a variety of ways, including:

  • Fibrous Fruits – Apples, pears, and other fruits high in fiber can be nature’s toothbrush. The skin and texture of the fruit help to scrub your teeth and gums free of biofilms. The vitamins they contain are healthy for you as well.
  • Milk and Dairy – These products tend to be high in Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to promote oral health by facilitating calcium. In addition to this property, it’s also been found to protect against gum disease and promote gum health.
  • Leafy Greens – These greens are low in sugars and carbs. They also provide a significant number of vitamins. Incorporating them into your diet can promote dental health.
  • Whole Grains – Whole grains are also good for your teeth and gums.
  • Legumes – Beans are excellent sources of protein for your teeth.

In addition to including these foods to your diet, you can limit snack intake. When you find yourself wanting to snack, stick to vegetables, cheese, or fresh fruits. In addition to avoiding sugars, this also limits how often your teeth are exposed to food particles. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated as well. Water is essential in the production of saliva. Saliva has antibacterial properties that help resist the work of the mutans virus in causing tooth decay.

Speak To Your Dentist For More Diet Tips

When you’re considering dietary changes for dental health, speak to your dentist. Their experience and knowledge will help provide the latest diet tips for healthy teeth. Call and make that next biannual appointment today!

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Dr. Beau Blankenship, DDS Under the guidance of Dr. Beau Blankenship, Sabal General Dentistry brings dental care to families in and around the Rockdale, TX area with over a decade of experience. As a dental surgery graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center, he focuses on building patient relationships that last a lifetime.

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