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Oral Health & Nutrition
How your diet affects your teeth
Poor nutrition has an effect on your overall health and immune system. Those that have lowered immunity are more susceptible to other conditions, including periodontal disease. You can improve oral health and overall health by eating nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and a balance of the other food groups.
Eating and drinking habits have a direct effect on your oral health. Regularly eating or drinking sugary foods and drinks can damage teeth. Those that drink sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and other sweetened drinks throughout the day put themselves at a high risk for developing cavities. Those that graze on starchy or sugary foods throughout the day also put themselves at risk for developing cavities.
When eating and drinking, the bacteria in our mouth feed on sugars (natural or added sugars) and produce an acid that breaks down and attacks enamel, the outer layer of our teeth. This lasts for up to 20 minutes after we are done eating and drinking. So when we frequently sip drinks and have bites of food throughout the day, our teeth are constantly attacked by acid. This doesn’t give them a chance to recover, or remineralize, and are then broken down into a cavity.
To reduce your risk of tooth decay, only have sugary drinks and foods at meal time and limit them between meals. Choose snacks that are low in sugar and carbohydrates. Drinking water and chewing sugarless gum is helpful in cavity prevention, and always brush for two minutes at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and clean between your teeth.