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Logo - Making You Smile Cosmetic Dentist Studio
Logo - Making You Smile Cosmetic Dentist Studio
Contact Us
Logo - Making You Smile Cosmetic Dentist Studio

Nutrition and Diet for Preventing Cavities

These are the most important dietary factors affecting the cavity rate:

Frequency of snacking

  • Limit snacking to once between breakfast and lunch and once between lunch and dinner

Duration of each snack

  • Avoid long dragging snack habits
  • Have short (5-15 minutes) snacks
  • Avoid having one bite/sip every 15-30 minutes over two hours

Quality of food

  • Some foods are more likely to promote cavities than others
  • Cariogenic foods (food that promote cavities) should be limited or followed by brushing.  It’s best to eat cariogenic foods during meals, rather than snacks. A cariogenic diet is typically not the healthiest way to eat.
    • Cariogenic Foods (fermentable carbohydrates)
      • Sweet and sticky foods
      • Soft drinks containing sugar are acidic and cariogenic
      • Coffee or tea with added sugar and/or any kind of creamer or milk
    • Non-Cariogenic Foods
      • Nuts such as almonds and walnuts
      • Vegetables such as carrots, celery
      • Jell-O sugar-free
      • Fat-free yogurt
      • Coffee or tea with no milk, no sugar/honey/creamer (note: sweeteners such as saccharine, cyclamate and aspartame do not cause cavities)
  • Try to avoid sticky foods, such as:
    • Raisins
    • Processed fruit snacks
    • Cookies and crackers
    • Candy that can adhere to teeth for long periods of time
      – Particularly problematic due to particles that lodge between teeth for hours

Neutralization of the negative effect of snaking with Xylitol gum or mint is essential. The recommended dose is two pieces of xylitol containing gum or mints after consuming fermentable carbohydrates.

Cariogenic Diet Foods And Anticariogenic Foods Making You Smile Cosmetic Dental Studio NYC

More Details About Cariogenic and Anticariogenic Foods

Cariogenic foods (food that promote cavities) are food that contain carbohydrates fermentable by salivary amylase in decreased salivary pH, creating acids that melt the teeth resulting in cavities.  These carbohydrates can be found in healthy food groups, such as grains, fruits, dairy, as well as products with added sugars. Several factors affect the cariogenicity of foods such as the frequency of fermentable-carb consumption; food form (solid vs. liquid); sequence of eating; combinations of foods and nutrient composition.

Cariostatic foods do not contribute to decay. These include proteins, most vegetables, fats and sugarless gum. Non-carbohydrate sweeteners (saccharin, cyclamate and aspartame) are cariostatic.

Anticariogenic foods (food that prevent cavities) are food that prevent plaque from recognizing an acidogenic food when consumed first. Xylitol cannot be metabolized by bacteria and is thought to have two mechanisms of action that protect the enamel, first an antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus mutans, and second a salivary stimulation from chewing xylitol-containing gum can increases the clearance of fermentable carbs from the tooth surface. The recommended dose is two pieces of xylitol-containing gum after consuming fermentable carbohydrates. There is some evidence that xylitol can also produce a remineralizing effect.

Nutrition And Teeth Health FAQ

1. What vitamins are good for teeth?

Teeth do not remodel or regenerate through life so there are no vitamins which would be able to help teeth become stronger. Once teeth are formed they are not part of the physiological metabolism. Thus taking vitamins does not affect teeth. For example, pregnant mothers do not get cavities because the baby took the calcium from their teeth. The calcium in the teeth has no way to enter the mother's metabolism. The only way we can positively affect the teeth is through mineralization of the surface by the use of fluoride. Fluoride has the ability to change the surface composition of the teeth and protect them from cavities. A person can prevent the loss of calcium in the teeth and the formation of cavities by reducing the time of exposure of the teeth to carbohydrates.

2. Are there any kinds of food that help remove plaque from teeth?

There are many claims out there that certain foods or chewing certain kinds of gum can help remove plaque from the teeth. In reality there is no kind of food that effectively removes plaques from the teeth. Only a tooth brush and floss have the ability to remove plaque from teeth.

3. How can I strengthen my enamel?

You can strengthen enamel by brushing with fluoridated toothpaste for two minutes twice a day. To maximize the benefit of fluoride you should spit out the toothpaste but not rinse your mouth, and also refrain from eating or drinking for 30 minutes (except for children 12 years and younger who should rinse the mouth after brushing with fluoridated toothpaste. If you do not like the taste or the feeling of the toothpaste lingering, then you can rinse off with water and use fluoridated mouth wash for 30 seconds. To get the full benefit from the fluoridated mouthwash you should also not rinse, eat or drink for 30 minutes. Fluoride changes the surface characteristic of tooth enamel and makes it more resistant to cavities.

You can also avoid weakening the enamel in your teeth by avoiding long durations of exposure to carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are utilized by existing bacteria in our mouth to produce acids which decalcify the enamel and start the cavity-creating process. You can check out a nutritional guide for advice on healthy snacks and what to do to avoid cavities.

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