If you want to prevent cavities, how often you eat can be just as important as what you eat.

We have all heard about how important it is to eat a well-balanced diet and watch our sugar intake to keep ourselves healthy and fit. But did you know that your diet has a pronounced effect on your oral health or that your teeth and gums often show the first signs of poor nutrition?

“THE BAD FOOD”

FAST FOOD NATION Foods that cling to teeth -- mostly soft, sweet and sticky foods -- put you at a much higher risk for cavities because they allow acids that cause tooth decay to build up on the tooth surface.

SODA AND ICED TEA According to the Academy of General Dentistry, some of the worst offenders in the game of oral health and nutrition are soda and bottled iced tea. These thirst quenchers are filled with calories and sugar and can wear down your teeth's enamel over time. Clear sodas and iced teas are especially harmful because they are full of flavor additives.

“THE GOOD FOOD”

If you do find yourself giving in to the occasional craving:

  • Try chewing sugarless gum containing xylitol or rinsing your mouth with water for 30 seconds afterwards to prevent food from sticking to your teeth.
  • Choose a diet rich in nutrients and fiber you will be doing a good thing for your teeth and your body will thank you too
  • Limit between-meal snacking. Fewer snacks mean less acid exposure for your teeth. If you snack, choose foods that are not fermentable carbohydrates.

Remember that your oral health mirrors your overall health so it is important to speak with your dentist to address any indications of nutrient deficiencies and to make sure that you maintain the healthy and beautiful smile that you deserve.

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