The foods you choose and how often you eat them can affect your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, too.
Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, but the good news is that it is entirely preventable. It happens when plaque come into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth.
To control the amount of sugar you eat, read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on foods and beverages and choose options that are lowest in sugar. Common sources of sugar in the diet include soft drinks, candy, cookies and pastries.
If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infection. This may contribute to gum disease.
For good dental health, keep these tips in mind when choosing your meals and snacks:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
- whole grains
- lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes
- low-fat and fat-free dairy foods
- Limit the number of snacks you eat.
Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.
For good dental health, always remember to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly. With regular dental care, your dentist can help prevent oral problems from occurring in the first place and catch those that do occur in the early stages, while they are easy to treat.
Source: Mouth Healthy by ADA
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