Role of diet in maintaining good healthy teeth

Foods usually cause damage to the teeth because of their high sugar content. Certain food products like white sugar, brown sugar, organic sugar, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, or commercial jams and candies which are sticky in consistency are really dangerous to your teeth. The caries activity starts within few hours after its consumption, if the teeth are not cleaned properly.

Some microorganisms like Mutans streptococci bacteria and lactobacilli bacteria, present in our saliva, consume these sugar molecules on the teeth surface and produce acids as their byproducts. The acids released by these bacteria’s damage the tooth’s enamel which is the top most layer of the teeth and slowly dissolving the calcium in it causing tooth decay.

Some doubled refined food products like White flour and wheat flour are harmful for the teeth. Bread, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, breakfast cereals, muffins, pastries, tortillas, bagels, and sandwiches should be avoided, even if they are brought from the health food store, or are organically labeled. This is because the more refined the food product is the more harm it can bring for your teeth,Nowadays, most of the youngsters are consuming fast food; this is not only harmful for our body but also has adverse effect on teeth as well. This junk food lacks the necessary vitamins and minerals and destroys the tooth structure from its molecular levels, creating conditions for dental cavities formation.

Coffee, soft drinks, and juices with artificial flavours and coloring agents can cause tooth discoloration. In order to achieve a beautiful smile, you need to avoid beverages like tea and coffee and carbonated drinks. Besides, causing unwanted tooth discoloration these artificial ingredients influence the enamel structure by weakening the enamel surface and making teeth more susceptible to dental caries. Sometimes milk which contains sugar can cause bottle caries or rampant caries in bottle feeding children. Continuous contact of bottle milk with the teeth can cause caries in children (baby bottle tooth decay), if the dental hygiene is not maintained properly. Such caries can be avoided by cleaning the teeth of infants and toddlers by using wet cotton gauze to wipe the teeth and gums.

Drinking excess alcohol damages the teeth surface by removing enamel from the tooth surface and hence causing tooth discoloration. It is also more prone to dental caries. Smoking is also responsible for tooth discoloration and dental decay.

Eating lots of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables are good for the teeth. Meat, nuts and fish are also good for the teeth. Whatever you eat, if your dental hygiene is not good then you are more prone to dental cavity. A Proper brushing technique should d be followed and brushing should be done twice. Floss your teeth regularly and change your tooth brush very frequently. Get a regular check up done by a dentist every six months.

Just by following a good balanced diet, lifestyle changes and proper dental care, you can avoid dental cavity.

(December 31st, 2009, By Dental Health Magazine Staff)