May 6, 2017
Your dentist in Fremont, Dr. James Block, tells his patients that how your smile looks, feels and performs rests on what you eat and drink. In fact, a nutritious diet keeps tooth enamel and gums vibrant. But, what about popular sodas and sports drinks–are they good or bad for your teeth? Learn why sugary beverages are just plain bad for your teeth and how you can change your daily diet to a tooth-friendly one.
It’s Best to Limit Sugars and Carbohydrates
Your mouth contains billions of bacteria which encourage tooth decay and gum disease. While heredity, hygiene habits, and overall well-being influence how healthy your mouth is, what you eat and drink do as well. In fact, sugary drinks, along with carbohydrate-rich foods, foster bacterial growth. Why? It’s because starches and sugars stick to your teeth and gums.
In fact, starchy residues form what dentist’s plaque and tartar. The bacteria in this biofilm secrete acids cause cavities and gum inflammation and infection.
Further, most sodas contain high levels of citric, phosphoric and carbonic acid. Sports drinks do, too, although their sugar content is not as high as colas or root beers, for instance. Regardless, the acid in these beverages degrades your tooth enamel. This is especially problematic among children and teens who consume more of these kinds of drinks than adults do.
Another problem is the pigmentation present in many sugary beverages. Consumed in large amounts, darkly-colored beverages stain tooth enamel.
To optimize oral health, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you daily flossing and twice-daily brushing at home. It also says to reduce starches, sugary drinks, and acidic foods and increase healthy choices. If you do, your oral health will improve.
How to Eat Healthier (It’s Not Rocket Science)
Choose high fiber fruits and vegetables. They increase saliva, and along with brushing and flossing, keep tooth enamel and gums clean. Try for four to five servings a day.
Also, the US Department of Agriculture advises six to 11 servings of high-fiber cereals and bread. Eliminate white bread and sugary cereals.
Dairy products build bones and teeth. Cheese, milk, yogurt and other dairy products add calcium to your system. Kids and adults need them, particularly as we age.
Low-fat meats contain amino acids for healthy gum tissue. Poultry, fish, and eggs have system-wide benefits, too.
Drink water daily. Water increases metabolic activity, aids your digestion and prevents overeating. Substitute it for high-sugar soda pop and those highly colored sports drinks. Rinsing with water is also an effective way to normalize the acidity in most foods and drinks we consume. The water will raise the pH to a more normal level. Additionally, tap water contains high levels of protective fluoride, a long-proven cavity fighter.
So, the Answer is Yes
Sodas harm your teeth, but don’t worry. You can change the habit. Dr. Block and his team wish to encourage you in having the best dental health possible. Is it time for your semi-annual cleaning and check-up? If so, contact James Block Dentistry today for a convenient appointment.
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