The link between diet and oral health

We previously did a post relating your overall health to your oral health. This will be a slight continuation on that with more focus on your personal diet. The main culprit in tooth decay is well known to be sugar. We’re going to look at which foods have sugar that you might not expect and which ones are the worst offenders.

Here are some of the names that sugars can go by when you look at a food’s ingrediants:

  • sugar
  • fructose
  • surcrose
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • corn sweeteners
  • cane juice
  • glucose
  • dextrin
  • syrup
  • honey

Here are some common sources of high sugar content:

  • soft drinks
  • sports drinks
  • energy drinks
  • fruit drinks
  • deserts such as ice cream, cake, pie
  • candy
  • cereals

The common theme in the list above is that many are empty calories and the sugar content is really big. Most of the foods above offer very little nutritonal value on top of that.

What are good food choices for dental health?

Cheese, milk, leafy greens, yogurt, tofu, and some nuts all can be beneficial based on the calcium and other nutrients they provide. Protein rich foods like meat are good sources of phosphorus. Fruits and veggies have a lot of fiber and water which can balance out the sugar and clean the teeth. These 3 nutrients all play a critical role in protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel.

Sugar substitutes can also be a good idea because they taste similar to sugar without the tooth-decaying side effect. The best option would be sugar-free foods.

That’s all for this topic today. If you want more dental tips or need some dental care for yourself, check out Lakewood Family Dental. He is a dentist who focuses on family, cosmetic and preventative dentistry. Be on the look out for the next post in this series! They have locations in Lafayette, IN; Bloomington, IL and Fort Wayne, IN.