Diet and Nutrition

Diet and Nutrition – Dental Health


 

The Basics

Your teeth can be affected by what you put into your mouth. Good nutrition and a balanced diet are also important for many reasons, but did you know that your teeth are affected by the level of nutrition and a healthy diet?

 

Snacking

Snacking on a regular basis can cause dental problems with decay. What you snack on can make a big difference as well. Foods that cause tooth decay contain sugar. Such foods may include sugar based drinks, cookies, candies, cakes, deserts, and fast food snacks that often contain high amounts of sugar. If you choose to snack, choose cheese, fruits, vegetables or nuts. These snack foods have low sugar content. Drink non-sweetened drinks that do not contain sugar.

Avoid foods that get stuck in your teeth. This can also contribute to tooth decay. As a rule of thumb, make an effort to brush after every meal, after school, and before bedtime.

 

Sugars to avoid which are commonly found in food and drink:

  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • cane sugar
  • confectioners’ or powdered sugar
  • turbinado sugar
  • raw sugar
  • corn sweeteners
  • corn syrup
  • crystallized cane sugar
  • maltose
  • fructose
  • sucrose
  • glucose
  • dextrin
  • evaporated cane juice
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • honey
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • invert sugar
  • syrup
  • malt syrup
  • maple syrup
  • molasses

 

Top Sources of Added Sugar in the Diet and Percentages

  • soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, 35.7%
  • grain-based desserts (cakes, pies) 12.9%
  • fruit drinks 10.5%
  • dairy-based desserts (ice cream) 6.5%
  • candy 6.1%
  • ready-to-eat cereals 3.8%
  • sugars and honey 3.5%
  • tea (sweetened) 3.5%
  • yeast breads 2.1%
  • all other foods 15.4%

 

Foods That May Benefit Dental Health

Dairy products and vegetables are a good source of calcium and phosphorus which help to maintain good dental health. It is also a good rule of thumb to drink water during the day which helps to cleanse the mouth, maintain hydration and saliva production.

Fluoridated water is the most beneficial type of water to help maintain dental health.

 

Sugar Substitutes and Sugar-Free Products

Sugar substitutes may taste like sugar but they don’t promote tooth decay or harm teeth.

Examples of sugar substitutes are “Equal” and “Splenda” also generically known as Aspartame and Sucralose, respectively.

 

For more information, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Dave at Grand Parkway Smiles today!

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