Most of us have too much going on in our lives to give a lot of thought about how the foods we choose affect our oral health. You got the message from your dentist about sugar, and you know it’s not good for your teeth; so what else is there to know?
Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrates
The cavity-producing process goes something like this: the bacteria that is always present in your mouth feed on particles of food left behind, producing acid as a byproduct, and acid is to be blamed for eating away at dental enamel and causing cavities.
Bacteria need carbohydrates for food, and they prefer table sugar. But other simple carbs like fructose, glucose, and lactose are easily broken down and support the growth of bacteria.
What about other carbs like starches? Bacteria feed on these too, but they are complex carbohydrates, which means the process of breaking down food takes longer. Also, some of these carbs like fresh fruits and vegetables have the advantage of clearing away food particles while you chew. These foods are also beneficial because they stimulate the flow of saliva, which neutralizes the acid.
Foods That Support Oral Health
You don’t need to omit snacking from your diet. Instead, your goal here is to avoid simple carbs and other foods that harm your teeth. Yogurt, cheese, plain nuts, peanut butter, and fresh fruits and vegetables are all healthy choices.
It's natural to turn to dried fruits like raisins as a healthy alternative to other snacks. But while they may be healthier than a bowl of popcorn, they have a high sugar content and also tend to stick to your teeth.
Please Call Us for More Healthy Tips!
Nobody expects you to be an expert about all aspects of your oral health, so we encourage you to call your dentist in Hummelstown, PA for more helpful tips. Dr. Wes Davis will be happy to provide guidance and help you make healthier choices for your diet.