Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by colonies of bacteria emitted from a sticky film called plaque. If plaque is not removed, these bacteria break down the sugars and starches in the foods you eat to produce acids that wear away your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth unprotected and vulnerable.
In addition to brushing, flossing, and having regular dental exams and cleanings, having a healthy diet can help to protect teeth against these oral health problems. A well-balanced diet provides the nutrients needed for healthy teeth and gums.
As an expectant mother, you can make sure your child’s teeth get off to a healthy start by eating sensibly and consuming lots of calcium, needed for strong teeth and bones, and vitamin D, which the body needs to absorb the calcium.
Children are particularly vulnerable to tooth decay, so it is important to start healthy habits early in your child’s life. You can do this by providing a good diet throughout childhood, brushing your child’s teeth until they can do it thoroughly themselves, and never putting babies/toddlers to bed with a bottle of milk or juice because these drinks contain natural sugar, lactose.
No matter what age you are, there are changes you can make in your diet to help ensure the health of your mouth. The first is limiting your intake of sugar. Avoid obvious sugary treats, like cookies, candies, and soda, as much as possible, but think twice before you eat foods like dried fruit, granola bars, and drink fruit juice. These foods can be loaded in sugar, though they’re advertised as healthy snacks.
Pay attention to your teeth and gums. More teeth are lost through gum disease than through tooth decay, and gum disease is likely to strike anyone who neglects oral hygiene or eats a poor diet. If your gums appear swollen or if they bleed, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at my office in Bedford, Massachusetts.
I’m Dr. Robert Kennedy, and I’m a family dentist, so I see patients of all ages with a variety of dental needs. Whether you’re looking to maintain your dental health or improve your smile through cosmetic dentistry, Kennedy Family and Cosmetic Dentistry can be your dental care family. Our office serves patients from Lexington, Concord, Burlington, and Pinehurst.