Our bodies are like complex machines, and the foods that you choose are the fuel. How often you “fill up” can significantly affect your general health as well as the health of your teeth and gums. According to the American Dental Association, many dentists are concerned that their patients are consuming a record number of sugar filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and non-nutritious snacks that affect their teeth. These items typically have little, if any, nutritional value. Over time they can take a toll on your teeth. By visiting our office, our Atlanta dentist can offer you the information you need to maintain a healthy diet and smile.
Choose Your Foods Wisely
When you eat, food passes through your mouth and meets the germs, or bacteria, that live in your mouth. Plaque, as told by your dentist, is a sticky film of bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugars that are found in many foods. When you don’t properly clean your teeth after eating, bacteria use the sugar to produce acids that can destroy the hard surface of the tooth, called enamel. The more you eat and the longer food is left in your mouth, the more damage occurs.
There are some foods that you would least expect contain sugars, such as fruits, milk, bread, cereals and even vegetables. The key to choosing foods wisely is not to avoid foods that contain sugars, but to limit your consumption. What you eat does significantly impact your health, but also when you eat can make a big impact in your dental health. Eat a well-balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. If you are on a special diet, keep your physician’s advice in mind when choosing foods. To get a well-balanced diet our dentist in Atlanta encourages everyone to eat a variety of foods and choose foods from each of the five major groups:
- Breads, cereals and other grain products
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Milk, cheese and yogurt
Children and Nutrition
Good eating habits beginning in early childhood can go a long way in ensuring a lifetime of good oral health. Children are encouraged to eat foods that are rich in calcium and other minerals, as well as maintaining a healthy balance of the essential food groups. Fluoride supplements may also be helpful if you live in a community without fluoridated water, but it is important to consult our Atlanta, GA dentist first.
If you allow your children to eat excessive amounts of junk foods, containing starches and sugars, including potato chips, cookies, crackers, soda, even artificial fruit rollups and granola bars, it is placing them at risk for serious oral health problems. The carbonation that is found in soda can erode tooth enamel, so encourage your child to use a straw when drinking soda, or offer other alternatives to drinking soda.
Providing your body with the right amounts of vitamins and minerals helps your teeth and gums, as well as your general health, to ward off infection, decay and disease. Contact our dentist in Atlanta, GA today for more information on how proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet can help your smile sparkle for longer.