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How Your Family’s Diet Affects Tooth Decay

Posted by Inspire Smiles Dental on Jun 13 2019, 10:10 AM

How Your Family’s Diet Affects Tooth Decay

You probably know how much dentists hate candy and sodas; it’s because they see, every day, the effects a sugar-rich diet can have on our teeth. But it’s not just the occasional candy at the movies or a daily Coke that can harm your teeth. Some of our basic food staples can do terrible things to your teeth if you aren’t wise to the ways of mouth bacteria. Even healthy snacks can harm your teeth and lead to the formation of cavities. What can you do? Plenty!

Do you need a Dublin CA family dentist? Dr. Farhana Rassiwala provides patient-centered dentistry to address your family members’ unique needs. Visit our office and you’ll see why our patients enjoy their visits to Inspire Smiles Dental. Call us at 925-833-9500 for an appointment.

Cavities can form when the mouth environment becomes too acidic, for too long. How does this happen? Mouth bacteria are always with us. You can either give them a friendly environment or a hostile one. Eating a lot of starchy and sweet foods and beverages gives mouth bacteria their favorite food residues to feast upon, and leads to bacterial growth. As bacteria consume those sugars and starches, they release acidic excretions that can eat the enamel off of your teeth. When a tooth has a spot of demineralization, this can develop into a cavity.

Don’t Feed the Animals

How can you make your mouth more “hostile” to mouth bacteria? Don’t feed them, for one. This means you should avoid foods that are made of simple starches and sugars. Some of the worst foods for your teeth include:

  • Potato chips
  • Crackers
  • White bread
  • Candy and sodas
  • Sports drinks
  • Chewy fruit snacks and fruit roll-ups
  • Dried fruit
  • Popcorn

Yes, even some foods that are healthy for your body, such as fiber-filled dried fruit, can contribute to tooth decay.

Stay Well Hydrated

A hydrated body makes for a healthy mouth. Drink lots of plain water to keep your mouth producing adequate amounts of saliva. Our spit doesn’t get much credit, but it is our body’s best natural defense against tooth decay. It lubricates our mouths, rinses away food particles, and neutralizes the acidic excretions from bacteria. Make sure your family drinks a lot of plain water to stay hydrated.

Don’t Let Sugars and Starches Sit on the Teeth

While it’s not a good idea to overbrush your teeth, occasional candy binges (think Halloween, Easter, going to the movies) should be followed by an extra tooth brushing. It’s just good oral health common sense to clean those teeth any time you consume a significant amount of those sugary and starchy foods mentioned above. If you are not in a situation in which it’s easy to sneak off and brush your teeth, you can be mindful to eat tooth-friendly foods after consuming harmful ones.

Eat Tooth-Friendly Foods

Beyond drinking a lot of water, there are several foods that can help you clean your teeth between brushings. You’ve probably heard that apples clean your teeth, despite their natural sugar content, and this is absolutely true. Even better than apples, raw veggies are amazing teeth cleaners. Crunchy veggies such as cucumber, celery, and carrots can clean the teeth as you masticate them down to mush. Broccoli and cauliflower are even better, as their tiny buds act as little brushes when they rub up against the teeth. There is some evidence that unsweetened green tea is very good at neutralizing mouth bacteria, which can help in the fight against decay and gum disease. Ask your Dublin, CA family dentist for more examples of foods that help your teeth stay clean between brushings.

Diet and Oral Hygiene Both Play a Role in Cavity Prevention

A lot of people think they can eat anything they want because they brush and floss their teeth very thoroughly at night. Unfortunately, getting in the habit of eating foods that harm the teeth can lead to cavities, no matter how well you brush at the end of the day. The best way to know whether your diet is harming your family’s teeth is to see your Dublin, CA family dentist every six months for examinations and teeth cleanings. We’ll let you know what we find! If we see extensive spots of demineralization, we can apply preventive treatments to ensure they don’t develop into cavities.

At Inspire Smiles Dental we provide routine preventive care to make sure your family’s smiles stay healthy and strong! Call us at 925-833-9500 for an appointment with Dr. Rassiwala.


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