Good Nutrition Is Not Just For The Body: The Relationship Of Nutrition And Dental Health
Body conscious adults and children are encouraged to watch what they eat. A healthy lifestyle begins with a balanced diet. It is proven that a diet rich in fruits and vegetable with a controlled amount of fatty foods and sugars leads to better health as one ages. Obesity and diabetes are just some of the reasons to watch what we eat.
What About Teeth?
But our teeth need good nutrition as well. The relationship of nutrition and dental health has been studied and found significant. Some of the implications are obvious. First and foremost, the fuels for tooth decay are simple sugars. Foods such as sweets, chips, soft drinks and other carbohydrate rich foods break down and produce acids that can and do damage tooth enamel. But this is not the only factor in the relationship of nutrition and dental health.
One must be aware of hidden sugars in foods such as breads and pastas, bananas and processed foods. These foods provide carbohydrates and they too build up acids in the mouth. These foods should be taken in moderation.
Since the relationship between nutrition and dental health has been well established, some simple eating advice can save us from tooth decay. First of all, one should have a diet high in fiber and also high in fruit and vegetable consumption. These foods break down more easily and do less to provide acid.
Also, one should not consume sweets between meals. If sweets are consumed, it should be during meals when more saliva is produced. Saliva is the effective agent that breaks down sugars and acids and protects the teeth from tooth decay.
Hard foods such as nuts are good for teeth because they too produce more saliva and their consistency actually helps the mouth self-clean. Sticky and soft foods do the opposite. Also, dairy consumption is important for teeth. This relationship between nutrition and dental health is a relationship that can either be harmful or constructive depending on the choices one makes.
Starting Right From the Start
Studies have shown that the mineralization of teeth begins within the third or fourth month of pregnancy. This means, the relationship between nutrition and dental health starts at the very beginning of life and holds consistent throughout the human life span. If a pregnant mother who eats right gives her baby a head start. Her breast milk is more nutritious and provides more protection to forming teeth.
Also, if one gives healthy snacks from the beginning, the child is more likely to make good choices in later life. Eating right is the key to long life and good dental health. One should need little more incentive than this understanding to do good by their body and their teeth.