The mouth is the gateway to the body. Dental health and body health go hand in hand. We love helping you create snacking and eating habits that make for healthier teeth, bodies and minds.
Eating for dental health comes down to three things:
- sugar content
- frequency of PH change in the mouth
- amount of time food sits in the mouth
1. Sugar content
The harmful, cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar. When they digest the sugar, they produce acid waste (we call this “bacteria poop”) which weakens teeth and can lead to cavities. Foods that are high in sugar are more likely to cause cavities because they are a great food source for harmful bacteria.
Low sugar foods
Not only are these foods low in sugar, but they also provide calcium and phosphorus, needed to remineralize teeth. Cavity-making bacteria aren’t able to cause cavities, even if food sticks to the teeth.
High sugar foods
Large amounts of sugar are found in these foods, and they stick easily to teeth 🙁
- soda pop
- sweetened drinks
- Goldfish crackers
- potato chips
- dried fruit
2. Frequency of PH change in the mouth
We often recommend that if you or your children are going to have sugary food or drinks, it’s best to consume them all at once, rather than frequently snacking or sipping.
After eating, the bacteria in your mouth break down sugar and produce acid waste, which weakens enamel. It takes about 20 min for your body to bring the PH back to normal. Every time you snack or sip something sugary, the clock restarts. That can add up to A LOT of time throughout the day that teeth are exposed to cavity-causing acid.
3. Amount of time food sits in the mouth
Because they stick to teeth, and sit for long periods of time, many sugary foods can contribute to cavities. And we’re not just talking about candy. Dried fruit, gummy vitamins and Goldfish crackers are some of the stickiest!
Milk is no exception. When either breast milk or formula lingers on tiny teeth for long periods of time, especially overnight, tooth decay can result.
4 changes you can make today for healthy teeth
- Eat more low-sugar food like cheese, meat, nuts and milk.
- Eat more firm, crunchy fruits & vegetables. The fibrous nature of these treats makes them great at cleaning teeth. Apples are even called nature’s toothbrush!
- Limit frequent snacking.
- Ditch the gummies!
If you have any questions about nutrition or snacking, we’d be happy to answer them at your next appointment!