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YOUR TEETH NEED GOOD NUTRITION TOO!
March is National Nutrition Month! This is a great opportunity to reflect on the food we put into our bodies, learn how it affects our daily lives, and brainstorm ways we can make healthier decisions for ourselves. Nutrition is one of the most important factors in living a long and happy life, but did you know that it’s also vitally important for the health of your teeth? We’ve all been taught that sugary foods cause cavities, but there’s a lot more to know than just that. Let’s break down how this whole “tooth decay” thing really works. Changes begin in your mouth the minute you put food in it. Some foods affect change more than others, but because foods full of carbohydrates tend to have the most dramatic effects on your teeth, sugar has become the enemy of the mouth. All carbohydrate foods eventually break down into one of four simple sugars: glucose, fructose, maltose, or lactose. Some break down in the mouth, while others break down farther in the digestive tract. When they break down in your mouth, these carbs work together with bacteria to form acid. This acid wreaks havoc on your teeth, eating away at your enamel layer and eventually working its way farther if proper oral hygiene doesn’t stop it. When people think of sugar-filled food, a few obvious suspects come to mind, like candy, cookies, cakes, and soft drinks. But because the entire carbohydrate group causes acid to form in your mouth, you should also be wary of foods like bread, pasta, crackers, and cereal. These can be just as harmful to your teeth as a nice big candy bar.
It’s also important to realize the other ways these foods can harm your teeth. The longer food stays on your teeth to mix with bacteria, the more harm it can do. Sticky foods like raisins, other fruits, chips, and popcorn that can get stuck between your teeth tend to cause a lot of decay as well. Though you should cut down the amount of high- carb foods you consume, indulging every once in a while should be no problem as long as you counterbalance in effective ways. Try to infuse your diet with as many whole grains, fresh veggies, and lean proteins as you can. These are the best foods for your body and your mouth. You can also fight the effects of tooth decay with proper oral hygiene. It’s entirely possible to build the minerals in your enamel layer back up with fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. You can even use certain foods to help, especially those high in calcium like dairy, almonds, and leafy greens. The health of your mouth is vitally important because your mouth is the gateway to your stomach. If you suffer the effects of poor oral hygiene, like decay and toothaches, then you’re not going to be able to chew your food very well or may not want to chew food at all because of the pain and discomfort it causes. If you can’t chew, you can’t eat, and your body won’t get any of the energy or nutrients it needs to survive. Using nutrition to aid in the health of your body really depends on one cohesive system working in unison, and that system begins in the mouth. Make sure you take care of your oral health to the best of your abilities by using National Nutrition Month to evaluate and rethink your eating habits. WWW.TEXASSEDATIONDENTAL.COM | 1 -Dr. Travis Kendall
THE HEALTH OF YOUR MOUTH IS VITALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE YOUR MOUTH IS THE GATEWAY TO YOUR STOMACH.
LONGVIEW - 903-758-5551 | TYLER - 903-597-2201texassedationdental.com
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