This video from the American Dental Association takes a look at the connection between what kinds of food you eat and the plaque that forms on your teeth.
Read on for a few tips on avoiding tooth decay with a healthy diet.
Food and Tooth Decay
One of the major dental issues that both children and adults experience is tooth decay, which can lead to softening of the enamel, cavities, pain, and even loss of teeth if left untreated.
The kinds of food you eat, it turns out, play a huge role in the formation of plaque – the first step in tooth decay. Namely, carbohydrates that get stuck to your teeth form plaque that sets off a chain reaction of weakening the tooth.
Tips for Teeth-Friendly Eating
What you eat, how you eat it, and when you eat it all contribute to the health or decay of your teeth. Here are a few tips for eating for oral health.
- Eat acidic foods as part of a larger meal. This means citrus fruit, acidic vegetables like tomatoes – basically anything that tastes sour. Pairing them with other foods can help to dilute the acids that can damage your teeth.
- Avoid foods that get stuck in your teeth. Sticky items like dried fruit are a major culprit, but so are foods with seeds and grains, for example, that can work their way up into your gums and between your teeth.
- Focus on calcium and phosphorus. These two nutrients help promote healthy teeth.
- Stay away from foods that keep sugar in your mouth. Sugary gum, sweetened drinks, certain types of mints, and even cough drops all expose your mouth to a constant amount of sugar. Stick to unsweetened options instead.
For more information on the relationship between diet and tooth decay, check out this video from the American Dental Association: