Start Your Year with Better Food & Drink Choices
Changes in the mouth occur the moment we eat or drink. The Bacteria we all have in our mouths, convert the sugars and carbohydrates from anything we consume into acids, and it is these acids that begin to attack the enamel on our teeth. No one can stop the decay process, but by following the guidelines listed below, our teeth can become less prone to severe tooth decay and strengthened against it.
- Cut down on all day snacking & sipping. Cutting back on not only acidic & sugary foods & drinks, but also sticky and starchy foods, will help limit the amount of exposure teeth receive from decaying acids.
- If you do snack, snack on these foods instead:Things like cheese, milk, chicken and nuts provide our teeth with the much needed calcium and phosphorus they need for re-mineralization. Firm & crunchy fruits and veggies such as apples & pears, cucumbers, celery, raw broccoli & cauliflower are high in water content which dilute acids. Also their crunch helps stimulate saliva flow which in turn washes away food particles that could become stuck on teeth creating the perfect meal for bacteria.
- Best Beverages for all day sipping & meal time: Water, milk & un-sweetened tea. Try to avoid mixing in any flavoring to these as much as possible. Many mix-ins contain sugar.
- If you don’t have time to brush, sugarless gum is ok: After meals it is ideal to immediately brush teeth to remove any stuck food particles. Leaving food between the teeth or stuck to the surfaces makes a great snack for bacteria thus producing more acids wearing away at tooth enamel. Chewing sugar free gum as proven beneficial in the fact that it dislodges trapped food particles and produces extra saliva, which in turn helps neutralize the damaging effects of acids.
- Citrus Fruits are Ok: Fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes and tomatoes are indeed very acidic. However, they hold essential nutrients such as vitamin c and lycopene that our bodies need. Instead of snacking on these foods by themselves, it is better to make them part of a larger meal. By doing this it helps dilute their acidity.