Indulging in your favorite dessert feels absolutely right, until the guilt sets in by the last bite. Knowing that sweets are discouraged if good dental health is to be maintained, consuming more sugar than what you should can get a little tricky. Oral bacteria feeds on sweets. This gives bacteria the energy to multiply while damaging the condition of your teeth and gum area.
Because sweets are just too hard to resist, it's a sad fact that 92 percent of adults aged 20-64 have cavities in their teeth, according to a recent national survey. Prevention is better than cure, and this can be definitely proven if you ever have to start spending for dental treatments. The average cost of a cavity treatment can run up to $100, but if it progresses into something more serious, you may spend thousands just to make your teeth and gums healthy again.
How does a cavity start?
Tooth decay starts when bacteria in your dental area begins to destroy the physical structure of your teeth. When food particles stay in your mouth longer than they should, plaque starts to build up. Plaque is a sticky substance surrounding your teeth which contains millions of bacteria. When the bacteria penetrates the surface of the teeth, it forms a cavity that leaves the inner part of your teeth open to infection. Overindulgence in sweets coupled with poor dental hygiene can eventually lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Sugar comes in different forms and as different names on products. Watch out for these names on nutrition labels in food:
Remember that the order of listing depends on which ingredient with the highest quantity. So if sugar or one of the words listed above is first on the list, then that product is very high in sugar.
- Hydrolysed Starch
5 Types of Food that Prevent Tooth Decay
Food isn’t only good for causing cavities, there are actually some that can help protect your teeth from them. Most of them can be found in your pantry or refrigerator. These are some of the food against cavities.
It is no secret that dairy products contribute largely in strengthening teeth. They are a rich source of Vitamin D and calcium substances known for their bone-building properties. Taking in the right amount of calcium everyday can help you get stronger, cavity-resistant teeth. In an experiment conducted by general Dentistry, it was found that people who consume controlled amounts of dairy products had a significant change in their plaque PH levels. Among the dairy products used, cheese affected the participants the most. It helped bring up plaque PH levels, which prevents the bacteria from spreading further while also hardening the teeth.
Green Tea and Black tea
If desserts are too tempting and you can't help but take a bite, drinking black or green tea will help lessen the guilt. The leaves of the Camilla sinensis, the plant where the tea comes from, is known as a good anti-cavity source, provided that it is consumed in its most natural state. Simply boil the leaves of the plant, and you're ready to drink it. Natural green and black tea is a rich source of antioxidants as well, which can help wash out bacteria from your mouth. Just remember not to take it with creamer or any sweeteners.
Fiber Rich Fruits and Veggies
Saliva plays a great role in keeping your mouth healthy. Ever noticed the change in your mouth odor every time your mouth becomes dry? This is because bacteria multiplies faster and stays longer in your mouth when it is dry. Eating fiber rich vegetables will help you produce enough amount of saliva so that it can wash away the bacteria. You might want to grab a pack of dried raisins, dates, or figs as popcorn substitutes or fresh bananas and apples to replace your usual sweet treat for your daily dose of fiber!
Whole grains have always been a part of a good and healthy breakfast. Bran, brown rice, and organic pastas are great sources of whole grains packed with Vitamin B and Iron. B vitamins and iron take care of your gums. Whole grains also contain Magnesium, an important mineral that helps keep bones and teeth strong.
Kiwis may be tiny compared to other fruits, but they are packed with essential amounts of Vitamin C which reaches to more than 100 percent of your recommended daily amount that makes them one of the foods against cavities. Vitamin C strengthens the collagen network of your gums to maintain and improve their strength. Those who lack Vitamin C are susceptible to periodontal diseases and teeth sensitivity. You may want to try putting slices of kiwi to replace sugar on your whole grain oatmeal. That makes two superfoods in one bowl!
Nature has its own way of taking care of our dental health. All we need to do is pick out the types of food that are good for us. While you’re at it, drink plenty of water to keep your gums hydrated and to stimulate the saliva in your mouth. Of course, don't forget to brush your teeth properly and regularly to get rid of the food debris that may get stuck in the sides of your teeth as well.