Diet and nutrition directly affect the health of your teeth and tissues of the mouth.

Did you know that “dental caries” is the most common disease worldwide? Dental caries is the term used to describe the disease process of dental cavities. Dental caries is multi-factorial. Nutrition is one factor that plays a role in whether a person is susceptible to dental caries.

Sugar in our diet is also consumed by bacteria that lives in our mouths. Bacteria “eat” and create by-products of acid that demineralize and break down dental hard tissues (our enamel). The rapid fall of pH (acid byproduct) can create an imbalance of microbes and cause a higher proportion of acidic biofilm species which causes more tooth demineralization. In other words, it has a compounding effect!

Listed below are some acidogenic (caries causing) foods that you can swap out to try for some non-acidogenic (anti-caries):

Examples of acidogenic foods FOODS TO AVOID: cooked vegetables, fresh fruits, fruit juice, soda, ice cream, sherbet, pudding, jell-o, chips, pretzels, crackers, starches (bread, rice, pasta, cereal, French fries), cookies, cakes, pies, pastry, candy, slowly dissolving sugar products (mints, cough drops, candies).

Examples of non/low-acidogenic foods TRY THESE: raw vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, beans, peas, nuts, natural peanut butter, milk, cheeses, flavored yogurts, corn chips, peanuts, popcorn.

Acidogenic foods can be enjoyed in moderation! However, caution should be taken and extra attention to oral hygiene should be considered when consuming these food and beverages. Tips: 1. Drink water after consuming acidogenic foods, 2. Brush and floss your teeth soon after consuming 3. Use toothpaste/mouthrinse with fluoride for extra protection against enamel breakdown 4. Moderation and balance is key!

Resources: ada.org, google images
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