Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Effect of Sugar on Dental Health

Most of us indulge in bad food habits. Unhealthy foods don’t just hamper the functionality of important organs, but also compromise our oral health. Sweet foods, soda, and bad habits such as, smoking lead to adverse effects such as gum disease and dental caries. Hence, choosing a healthy diet is very important. In fact, it outweighs all the sacrifices we may have to make later, just to save our teeth and gums from deteriorating any further.

Eliminating Sweets:

Eliminating sweets from our diet is one of the most effective steps we can take towards good oral health. Any drink or food that is high on sugar has the tendency to feed bacteria that produce acid in our mouth. This acid rots our tooth enamel, leaving our teeth to decay. Due to this, it is important to reduce the intake of soda, cookies, cakes and chocolates. In fact, these foods should be substituted with vegetables or other healthy alternatives. However, if it is difficult to avoid sweets completely, at least attempting to reduce our weekly intake is recommended.

Follow a proper diet plan:

Some of the suggestions to help keep the starch and sugar consumption in balance and protect teeth are:
Ø  Never snack on unnecessary starches and sugars. These compounds are very high in foods such as turkey sandwiches.
Ø  Substitute dried fruits with fresh fruits. Although fresh fruits contain acid and sugar, the excessive chewing they take to digest increases the production of saliva which in turn dilutes harmful acids inside the mouth and gets rid of the food efficiently.
Ø  Chew sugarless gum instead of those that are extremely sweet. Again, this helps in keeping sugar from staying inside the mouth and generates saliva that cleans the mouth.

Consuming important nutrients:

Apart from avoiding unhealthy foods, it is also essential to consume foods that maintain good dental health. We must realize that once our enamel is destroyed it cannot be repaired. But consuming a diet which is high on nutrients helps in preventing any further harm to the enamel, keeping the loss to a minimum. Most of the vitamins and nutrients found naturally in foods include:
Ø  Calcium - Calcium is extremely important when it comes to maintaining great dental hygiene as it helps in forming strong bones and teeth. This chemical element is particularly important for pregnant women looking to keep their bones healthy. Calcium can also be found in sardines, dark green leafy vegetables, low-fat milk and almonds.
Ø  Vitamin D - Vitamin D helps in absorbing calcium effectively. It is found in soy products, milk, sun exposure and salmon.
Ø  Vitamin A - Vitamin A assists in fighting disease and boosting the immune system. It is found in foods that are high in beta carotene, such as cantaloupe and carrots.
Ø  Vitamin C - Vitamin C is important in keeping our gums healthy. It can be found in citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, and peppers.

Maintaining proper oral health:

Proper oral hygiene and bi-annual checkups are important components to our oral health. It is a good habit to floss and brush daily. We must also follow correct brushing techniques to ensure that the tooth enamel remains intact. If we have trouble reaching to some of the areas of our mouth, a dental water jet is a suitable choice. Also, it is important to go for cleaning appointments regularly so that any kind of decay is identified early and any problems in the future are prevented. As long as we stay proactive in maintaining our dental health, we will be able to enjoy our teeth for a long period of time.

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