Fast food, fried Oreos, and decadent soda flavors can all be some serious temptations, especially when you are out on the go. But, did you know that these types of foods can actually be damaging your teeth? Even well after you have consumed them.
It is recommended that all Americans follow the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. If you have never seen the guidelines, here is what they recommend:
- Consume a variety of fresh fruits
- Consume whole grains on a daily basis such as whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice
- Prepare foods with less salt and look for low sodium options
- Eat dark green and orange vegetables
- Choose foods and drinks without lots of sugar
- Eat a diet that is rich in grain, vegetables, and fruits
- Consume beans, fish, nuts, and seeds to meet your protein requirements
- Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation
- Keep yourself at a healthy weight and be active daily
Over the years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has phased out the Food Guide Pyramid and has created MyPyramid, which is designed to help individuals understand their eat habits and how to eat healthy. The tool allows you to customize it to meet your needs based on your physical activity level, gender, and your age.
With that said, it is still recommended that you consume:
- 2.5 cups of vegetables a day
- 3 cups of calcium-rich products such as cheese, milk, or yogurt
- A strong base of whole grains
- A strong base of proteins including eggs, meat, seeds, and beans
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How You Can PREVENT Tooth Decay with the Above Information in Mind
The above information is excellent for a healthy diet, but how can you prevent tooth decay? Below, we will provide you with some tips to keep your mouth as healthy and decay-free as possible.
Limit how much you snack in between your meals.
You should limit the number of times you snack between meals to reduce how long acid stays on your teeth. Eating a handful of sweets is better done with a meal as opposed to as a snack. If you do need to snack, choose foods that will not cause acids to form on your teeth. See below for more information on choices.
BEST Snack Options
MODERATE Snack Options
WORST Snack Options
- French fries
- Dried fruits or fruit snacks
- Potato chips
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Limit your consumption of sugary drinks and soft drinks.
You do not want to spend time sipping these types of drinks as they leave acid on your teeth, which cause a breakdown in the enamel and lead to cavities. It is best to avoid these drinks, but if you do want to enjoy one, make sure you drink it within your meal sitting. For example, a can of soda should be enjoyed with your dinner and finished when your dinner is complete as opposed to sipping it over a two-hour window.
Some of the drinks you should avoid include:
- Soft drinks
- Tea with added sugars
- Fruit juices
BEST Drink Choices
- Tea that is unsweetened
Avoid sucking on mints or candy.
It can be tempting to suck on candy and mints, but it is not a good idea. There is too much packed into them and the acid buildup from the sugar and bacteria in your mouth is a recipe for dental decay. If you do want a sweet treat, try sugar-free candies.
Avoid very acidic foods.
Foods that are high in acid can actually cause a rise in acid in your mouth, which can lead to erosion on the minerals on your teeth.
Brush your teeth often.
If you do need to snack throughout the day, make sure to brush your teeth afterwards. The acid created from the bacteria and sugars can sit on your teeth for up to 30 minutes after you consume the item. If you cannot brush after each meal, do brush a minimum of twice a day.
Call CS Family Dental for All Your Dental Needs
The team at CS Family Dental is here to help you with all your dental needs. We provide our patients with the best dental care in Denver, CO. If you would like to learn more about dental decay, proper nutrition, or how to better care for your teeth, please reach out to our team.