In addition to teaching good oral hygiene habits, our dentist at Restoration Smiles: Adult & Pediatric Dentistry, also provides nutritional counseling. Here are some of the lessons our dentist would teach on what to eat, what not to eat, and other related topics:
On Sugary Foods and Drinks
Our dentist recommends that you limit your intake of foods containing sugar or starch to prevent tooth decay. Foods such as candy, cookies, soda, cake, potato chips, and fruit juice can cause decay if consumed frequently and aren’t washed away by saliva.
Our dentist would also recommend that, after eating sugary foods, you should brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water to help wash away food particles and neutralize acids before they can damage your teeth. If your child eats sweet foods, try to do so at meal times rather than as a snack to reduce the frequency of exposure. They may also want to drink extra water throughout the day to keep their mouth hydrated and rinse away residual food and sugars.
What Is a Cavity?
A cavity is a hole in your tooth that can grow over time and cause pain if left untreated. When tooth decay begins, the outer layer of enamel breaks down and erodes because of the bacteria in your mouth. This erosion causes the formation of a hole called a cavity. When the decay gets into the tooth's inner layers, it causes even more damage than the outer layers. This is why acting fast when a tooth starts to hurt is essential – the sooner you get treatment for a cavity, the better! If a cavity is not treated, it can lead to more serious problems like gum disease or a severe infection.
The Causes of Cavities
The primary cause of tooth decay is plaque buildup in the mouth. Plaque is a sticky film that coats the teeth and contains millions of bacteria. These bacteria feed on the sugars and starches you eat throughout the day and produce acids as a by-product of their digestive process. Over time, these acids destroy tooth enamel and lead to the formation of cavities.
If you don’t maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice daily and flossing at least once daily, you are at a higher risk of experiencing cavities.
Other Nutritional Advice
Eat More Fibrous Fruits and Vegetables
Foods like apples, celery, carrots, and cucumbers are very abrasive on teeth and can scrub away plaque buildup when eaten raw or as part of a healthy balanced diet. They can also help stimulate saliva flow, which helps keep the mouth clean and helps neutralize bacteria.
Avoid Sugary Foods and Beverages
We cannot say this often enough. Sugary foods and drinks produce a lot of sugar that sticks to the teeth for a long time and encourages the growth of decay-causing bacteria. Limit your consumption of candy, cookies, sodas, juices, and other drinks with added sugars. Instead, drink water to rinse out the particles between meals.
The foods you eat play a significant role in the health of your teeth. For the best dental care, visit Restoration Smiles: Adult & Pediatric Dentistry at 2 Coolidge St, Suite 202, Hudson, MA 01749, or call (508) 658-0661.