Nutrition is important for every cell of our body, including our teeth and gums. Food choices can cause plaque-causing bacteria. When you drink or eat too many sugary or starchy foods, it comes in contact with plaque. The acids that form from the sugary plaque attack your teeth and break down the hard enamel leading to tooth decay. Stay away from those foods and look to replace them with foods that stimulate saliva production, which has a neutralizing effect on acid. Here are some acid neutralizing suggestions:
1) Cheese – it is low in sugar and acid and high in calcium. It also contains casein which is a protein found in milk and important for fortifying the tooth’s surface.
2) Celery – It requires chewing which causes excess saliva and it breaks down into fibrous strands which help clean teeth.
3) Pears – They stimulate saliva and have a larger acid neutralizing effect on the tooth’s surface compared to other fruits.
4) Yogurt – Another provider of casein with the additional benefits of calcium and phosphates that help remineralize teeth.
2) Sugar free gum – “What?” you ask. Sugar free gum contains xylitol which is helpful in preventing harmful bacteria in plaque to metabolize sugar which contains acids that is harmful in degrading tooth enamel. It is the anti-sugar. Ask us for a sample next time you are in!
Stay away from those sticky starches and sugary sodas and look for other healthy choices to help prevent tooth decay. Of course, we always recommending brushing in the morning and evening and flossing each day along with visiting our office at least two times per year!