Did you know that sugar can make your pearly whites turn yellow? Although sugar gives you a quick burst of energy, it also causes tooth decay. When you eat foods containing sugar, the sugar molecules combine with the bacteria in your mouth to create plaque. This plaque can damage your enamel, which is the hard outer layer of your teeth. Over time, this damage can become severe enough to cause tooth decay, cavities, and tooth loss.
A diet high in added sugars can also increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
To help prevent cavities, make smart food choices, such as:
Cheese and milk do not cause cavities, but hard cheeses, such as Pecorino Romano or Cheddar, can cause tooth fractures. That’s because chewing on hard foods puts a lot of force on teeth, so it’s important to avoid these cheeses if your dentist has recommended using a soft or liquid diet.
Leafy greens, including spinach, broccoli, and lettuce, contain a lot of water, which helps in hydrating your mouth. They also contain fiber, which is crucial for healthy digestion. And they contain calcium and magnesium, which help strengthen your teeth.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is required for the healthy growth of gum tissue. It also helps wounds heal.
Vitamin C also promotes the remineralization of tooth enamel. It also helps remove plaque which is a sticky substance that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Foods that are high in fiber, such as raw carrots, help stimulate saliva production. Saliva helps wash away bacteria in the mouth. Carrots are also high in vitamin A, which is essential for healthy teeth. Vitamin A helps repair damaged tissue that can be caused by bacteria.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener produced by the human body. It’s been proven to be a cavity fighter, so we encourage our patients to replace refined sugar with xylitol whenever they can. Xylitol is found in some brands of gum, mints, and candies.
Xylitol lowers the pH content in your mouth, making it less favorable for cavity-causing bacteria.
You should drink plenty of water every day because water washes away food particles that could get stuck in your mouth and cause cavities.
Dr. Lisa Baker and her caring team want their Bloomington area patients to enjoy beautiful, healthy smiles. For more information on procedures under general dentistry, call us for a consultation at (812) 269-8230.