So you’ve got your oral care routine nailed down. You brush twice a day, floss once a day, and make it to your dentist at least two times a year. Great job! You’re leagues ahead of most people. However, taking care of your teeth doesn’t stop when you leave the bathroom or the dentist’s office.
Your dentist in Renton has put together a brief list of habits to keep in mind the next you go out to eat or make dinner for your family. You’ll be glad you gave it a look.
Sugar: The Main Cause of Tooth Decay
When choosing the foods you eat, the number one culprit you’ll need to watch out for is sugar, especially if you have children. Children are especially vulnerable to sugar as their teeth are developing, so keeping track of their sugar intake will make a huge difference in the long-term.
The main cause of tooth decay is when plaque on your teeth meets sugar. The bacteria in plaque then converts this sugar into acids, which wears down your tooth enamel. If your child consumes a lot of sugar, they may get cavities very early on and lose their teeth before intended, so managing this is key. Next time you go grocery shopping, look at the nutritional facts on the item you’re thinking of purchasing.
Choose products that have the least amount of sugar in them to reduce your chances of getting cavities. Cut out foods that are high in sugar such as soft drinks, candy, cookies, and pastries.
Mix Up Your Diet!
According to researchers, patients are less able to resist infection in the mouth if they don’t have the proper nutrients to fight back. In fact, disease can progress faster and more severely in people with poor nutrition. When building your next meal plan, try to incorporate a large variety of foods from multiple food groups.
Leafy greens contain vitamin C which is incredibly beneficial to gum health. Dairy products contain casein, which works to neutralize acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. Peppers and citrus fruits contain anti-inflammatory properties that promote healthy gums. The key is to build meals that are balanced; once you do that you’ll be ahead.
Snack Less, Meal More
Speaking of meals, you’ll want to center your diet on full and complex meals consisting of foods of different food groups. By doing this, you’ll cause less harm to your teeth throughout the day as opposed to eating snacks. A full meal keeps your mouth producing saliva for longer and works harder to remove food debris and acids from your mouth than snacking.
If you choose to snack, eat something crunchy that contains a lot of water like celery or apples. This will help you produce a healthy amount of saliva while still satisfying your mid-day craving. Snack on a piece of cheese to change up your snacking habits as well.
When a proper, balanced diet meets good at-home care and dental visits, tooth decay and gum disease don’t stand a chance. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Renton to learn more healthy diet habits!
About the Author
Dr. Sam D.K. Kim, DMD, has spent hundreds of hours training in dentistry so he can properly provide local families and individuals in Renton the comprehensive services they deserve. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (253) 277-8767 or visit his website to learn more their preventive dental care treatments.