Today more than ever it is challenging to following a healthy diet, especially where beverages are concerned. We have a few very valuable tips for our patients which can save them time, money, and discomfort in the long run.
The average 12 oz. can of soda contains 9-12 teaspoons of sugar. The bacteria that typically live in the mouth feed on the sugar they find on the teeth. When the bacteria digest the sugar, they produce acid which will slowly dissolve the protective outer layer of enamel. Eventually a hole is created in the enamel by this acid and can develop into a serious cavity.
The other ingredient in many sodas is acid, either phosphoric or citric. These acids also have a very low pH and can dissolve enamel by slowly demineralizing it. Not only can the acid cause decay but they also “erode” the teeth often leading to the wearing away of the biting edges. Once the enamel is worn away, the dentin layer is exposed, which can be very sensitive, as well as vulnerable to a faster rate of decay. Soda might best be called “liquid candy.” It is one of the most damaging beverages to the teeth and the biggest source of refined sugar in the America diet.
Foods that stick to your teeth (such as potato chips and dried fruit), foods that dissolve slowly in your mouth (like granola bars or hard candy), and eating too many sweets in general encourage tooth decay.
How often we eat
The bacteria in your mouth feed on foods that are sweet or starchy and produce acid that attacks the teeth for up to 20 minutes. The more frequently you eat will expose your teeth to acids which eventually cause tooth decay (unless you immediately brush afterwards.)
The most beneficial eating regimen would be to combine your foods into a meal. Sticky and starchy foods create less acid in the mouth when eaten as part of a meal because saliva production increases at mealtime. Saliva rinses away food and neutralizes harmful acids, remineralizes teeth and keeps them resistant to acid attacks.
What and HOW we SHOULD eat
Smart food choices timed properly play an important role in your dental health.
A balanced diet boosts your immune system and provides you with the nutrients needed to maintain strong teeth and healthy gums. This includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of proteins, carbs such as whole grains and beans, dairy products, and unsaturated fats.
Cheese, nuts, onions and some teas have been known to slow down the bacterial growth responsible for dental decay.