Proper nutrition means eating a well-balanced diet so that your body can derive the nutrients needed for good health. If your diet is low in the nutrients your body needs, your mouth may have a more difficult time resisting infection. Although, almost all foods, including milk and vegetables contain some type of sugar, these foods are a necessary part of a healthy diet because many of them contain important nutrients.
What’s wrong with sugary snacks?
Sugary snacks taste so good, but they aren’t so good for your teeth or body. Candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods can cause tooth decay. Some of these foods have a lot of fat in them as well.
How do sugars attack your teeth?
Bacteria live in your mouth all the time. Some of these bacteria form a sticky material called plaque on the surface of the teeth. When you put sugar in your mouth, the bacteria in the plaque turns it into acids. These acids are powerful enough to dissolve the hard enamel that covers your teeth. That’s how cavities get started.
How can I “snack smart” to protect myself from tooth decay?
When you’re deciding about snacks, think about
- The number of times a day you eat sugary snacks:
Damaging acids form in your mouth every time you eat a sugary snack. The acids continue to affect your teeth for at least 20 minutes before they are neutralized and can’t do any more harm. So, the more times you eat sugary snacks during the day, the more often you feed bacteria the fuel they need to cause tooth decay.
If you eat sweets, it’s best to eat them as dessert after a main meal instead of several times a day between meals. Whenever you eat sweets, brush your teeth well afterward.
- The texture of the sugary food
Certain kinds of sweets can do more damage than others. Gooey or chewy sweets such as caramel chocolates spend more time sticking to the surface of your teeth. Because sticky snacks stay in your mouth longer than foods that you quickly chew and swallow, they give your teeth a longer sugar bath.
We get way too much happiness from good food. Don’t Forget! Your mouth is a bank account, and good food choices are good investments.