A healthy diet can surely make a difference for long-term oral health as well as general health. We recommend a diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. A multiple vitamin tablet may be helpful when it is difficult to eat a well-balanced diet.
This information is probably nothing new, but it is certainly sound advice to help your mouth stay healthy. We know that in our culture, those not-so-healthy snacks and goodies are constantly available and hard to resist.
Here are some guidelines to follow when the snack attack hits:
- Frequency of intake of sugary foods has more effect on tooth decay than does the total amount of sugar. Small amounts of sugar throughout the day keep the cavity-producing bacteria more active. It is best to just have one sugary food at one time during the day, and then brush, floss and rinse afterward.
- It is not just sugar that can cause cavities. All simple carbohydrates, such as white flour, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, and concentrated fruit sugars can feed the bacteria that cause cavities.
- Texture and consistency matter, also. Sticky sugary foods are more harmful than non-sticky foods.
- Acid plus sugar can be even more harmful than sugar alone. Many sports drinks are acidic, as are sodas. It is best to drink water or milk.
- Eating sweets with meals, rather than by themselves helps diminish their harmful effects.