Posts for tag: tooth decay
It is important to eat a diet that is rich in nutrients and vitamins. Vitamin deficiencies can cause issues with overall health and oral health.
Raw crunchy fruit and vegetables
These are great for your teeth because they act as self-cleansers. Fruits and vegetables such as fresh carrots, apples and celery will help to remove plaque from your tooth surfaces and leave your teeth cleaner.
Cheese helps to reduce the pH level of your mouth because on a pH scale, it is more basic than acidic. This can be helpful to reduce the acidity of your mouth, especially after eating or drinking something more acidic or sugary. Cheese can also help reduce cavities and acid erosion.
Candies or gum containing Xylitol
Xylitol is an ingredient that is added into toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, mints and candies that helps to reduce the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. Xylitol helps to reduce your risk of cavities.
Bad Foods for Your Teeth
Unfortunately, there are many foods out that are bad for teeth than there are foods that are good for your teeth. Sugars and acids are the two main factors to try to reduce or avoid.
Soda is dangerous because it contains both acids and sugars. Soda bathes your teeth in both sugars and acids with every sip and extends the exposure time to your teeth. It is important to note that if you sip a small soda over a few hours, it is worse for your teeth than gulping down a large soda all at once. Cavities are caused by exposure time more so than quantity.
Candy contains sugars and is often sticky, chewy or gummy and will get stuck in the biting surfaces of your teeth. Any candy that doesn’t clear away from your teeth quickly will extend the exposure time to the sugar and potentially cause more cavities.
While relatively good for your health, too much citrus fruit can lead to enamel erosion because of the acids. Try to rinse your mouth with water after eating citrus fruits or foods high in acid.
While dental diseases tend to be a greater concern as we get older, they also pose a potential threat to children. A particular type of tooth decay called early childhood caries (ECC) can severely damage children's unprotected teeth and skew their normal dental development.
Fortunately, you can protect your child's teeth from disease with a few simple practices. First and foremost: start a hygiene habit as soon as possible to remove disease-causing bacterial plaque. You don't have to wait until teeth appear, either: simply wipe the baby's gums with a clean wet cloth after nursing to minimize the growth of oral bacteria.
When their teeth do begin to erupt, you can switch to brushing (you can add flossing as more teeth erupt—but until the child shows appropriate dexterity, you'll need to do it for them). For infants, brush gently but thoroughly with a soft-bristled brush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste. When they grow older you can increase the toothpaste to a pea-sized amount. And as soon as you can, get them involved with learning to perform these vital habits on their own.
You should also limit your child's consumption of sugar. Our favorite carbohydrate is also a favorite of bacteria, who consume any remnants in dental plaque as a primary food source. So, keep sugary snacks and foods to a minimum and limit them mainly to mealtimes. And don't put a baby to sleep with a bottle filled with a liquid containing sugar (including formula and breastmilk).
Finally, begin taking your child to the dentist regularly by their first birthday for routine cleanings and checkups. Besides removing any hard to reach plaque, your dentist may also apply sealants and topical fluoride to help protect and strengthen tooth enamel. Regular visits make it more likely to detect the early signs of decay, before it does extensive damage. And beginning early makes it less likely your child will develop a fear of dental visits that could carry on into adulthood.
These and other steps will go a long way in protecting your child's teeth and gums so they develop normally. A little prevention and protection will help ensure a happy, healthy smile later in life.
If you would like more information on helping your child develop healthy teeth and gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”
If your dentist found tooth decay on your last visit, you might have been surprised. But tooth decay doesn't occur suddenly—it's a process that takes time to unfold.
It begins with bacteria—too many, that is. Bacteria naturally live in the mouth, but when their populations grow (often because of an abundance of leftover sugar to feed on) they produce high amounts of acid, a byproduct of their digestion. Too much acid contact over time softens and eventually erodes tooth enamel, making decay easier to advance into the tooth.
So, one important strategy for preventing tooth decay is to keep your mouth's bacterial population under control. To do that, here are 4 common-sense tactics you should perform between dental visits.
Practice daily hygiene. Bacteria thrive in dental plaque, a thin film of food particles that builds up on teeth. By both brushing and flossing you can reduce plaque buildup and in turn reduce disease-causing bacteria. In addition, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste can also help strengthen tooth enamel against acid attacks.
Cut back on sugar. Reducing how much sugar you eat—and how often –deprives bacteria of a prime food source. Constant snacking throughout the day on sweets worsens the problem because it prevents saliva, the body's natural acid neutralizer, from reducing high acid levels produced while eating. Constant snacking doesn't allow saliva to complete this process, which normally takes about thirty minutes to an hour. To avoid this scenario, limit any sweets you eat to mealtimes only.
Wait to brush after eating. Although this sounds counterintuitive, your tooth enamel is in a softened state until saliva completes the acid neutralizing process previously described. If you brush immediately after eating you could brush away tiny particles of softened enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water and wait an hour for saliva to do its work before brushing.
Boost your saliva. Inadequate saliva flow could inhibit the fluid's ability to adequately neutralize acid or provide other restorative benefits to tooth enamel. You can improve flow with supplements or medications, or by drinking more water during the day. Products with xylitol, a natural sugar alternative, could give you a double benefit: chewing gums and mints containing it could stimulate more saliva flow and the xylitol itself can inhibit bacterial growth.