Healthy Foods. Healthy Teeth.

Nutritional counseling is not necessarily tied to weight loss. It is important to be mindful about what goes into our kids' bodies and our own! Choosing healthier choices can mean less tooth decay. Our mouths are the first point of contact where nutrients are digested.  What enters your mouth has an effect on not only our teeth, but also our overall health.  So think twice before choosing what looks appetizing and evaluate what is better for the longevity of our overall health. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

The frequency of snacking is directly related to the risk of cavities. The more frequent and longer the duration, the more likely it is for cavities to develop. Snacking should be limited to small specified times during the day. Sticky foods also make it easier for bacteria to stick to our teeth. 

Sugary Beverages
Sometimes it can be very difficult to steer clear of sugary beverages like sodas, juices, teas, and coffees. Sipping on a cup of sugary drinks throughout the day will keep your oral cavity relatively acidic. The acidic environment and high sugar concentrations provide an ideal environment for bacteria growth.  

Healthier snack choices can help to decrease your risk for cavities:

·         Cheese and yogurt

·         Crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, and celery

·         Sugar-free gum

Brushing immediately after eating does not necessarily help because our mouths are still relatively acidic. It is recommended to wait at least twenty minutes later to allow your saliva to neutralize the mouth.

Sugar-free Gum and Mints
Chewing sugar-free gum helps to generate salivary flow, which accelerates neutralization. Select sugar-free gum and mints that contain xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sugar that helps to decrease the level of decay-producing bacteria in the mouth.

We all need to eat and treat ourselves every once in a while, but if we make small changes to what and when we consume it can delay tooth decay. In the long run, this means extending the health of our teeth!