How Food Influences Oral Health
A cavity is formed when tooth decay is allowed to progress until it forms a cavity. So what causes tooth decay? Consuming foods high in carbohydrates (sugars and starches) can facilitate tooth decay. These foods include candy, soda pop, fruits, milk, and breads. When these foods are permitted to remain on the teeth following consumption, they combine with bacteria, food particles, and saliva to form plaque, which then sticks to the teeth.
Plaque is harmful because it dissolves the outer layer of the tooth, which causes tooth decay and if left unchecked, cavities. Foods such as soda pop and candy should always be shunned due to their negative effect on all facets of physical health, but fruits, milk, and whole-grain breads are excellent for health, as long as teeth are brushed promptly after consumption.
In fact, fruits, milk and other calcium-rich foods, and whole-grain breads are actually valuable in the maintenance of oral health. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which keeps saliva flowing, creating an effective tool against tooth decay. Fruits and vegetables also have a high water content. Drinking milk and eating other calcium-rich foods is a great tool to prevent tooth decay. In addition to dairy products, other calcium-rich foods include dark leafy greens and almonds. Whole-grain products are an excellent source of iron and B vitamins, which help promote gum health.
As stated, drinking milk is great for oral health, and drinking fluoridated water is likewise effective in preventing tooth decay and subsequent cavity development, as well as promoting overall oral health. Proper nutritional choices, combined with correct personal oral hygiene habits and regular visits to the dentist, will be largely successful in protecting oral health.