It has long been known that good nutrition and a well-balanced diet is one of the best defenses for your oral health. Providing your body with the right amounts of vitamins and minerals helps your teeth and gums-as well as your immune system-stay strong and ward off infection, decay and disease.

Harmful acids and bacteria in your mouth are left behind from eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. These include carbonated beverages, some kinds of fruit juices, and many kinds of starch foods like pasta, bread and cereal.
 

Nutrition and Teeth

Good eating habits that begin in early childhood can go a long way to ensuring a lifetime of good oral health.

Children should eat foods rich in calcium and other kinds of minerals, as well as a healthy balance of the essential food groups like vegetables, fruits, dairy products, poultry and meat. Fluoride supplements may be helpful if you live in a community without fluoridated water, but consult with our office first.

Be aware that sugars are even found in some kinds of condiments, as well as fruits and even milk.

Allowing your children to eat excessive amounts of junk food (starches and sugars)-including potato chips, cookies, crackers, soda, even artificial fruit rollups and granola bars-only places them at risk for serious oral health problems, including obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes. The carbonation found in soda, for example, can actually erode tooth enamel. Encourage your child to use a straw when drinking soda; this will help keep at least some of the carbonated beverage away from the teeth.

Xylitol
 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes the benefits of preventing caries (tooth decay) by using sugar substitutes such as Xylitol use for infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health needs. 

Xylitol is a natural sugar found in various trees, fruits, and vegetables and is an intermediate product of the glucose metabolic pathway in animals and humans. This 5-carbon sugar polyol reduces adhesion to the teeth as well as reducing less acid production. 

Xylitol is recommended for use for individuals that are moderate to high risk for decay. The proper dose of Xylitol should be 3-8 grams total per day and can be delivered via syrup, chewing gum, and lozenges. Studies have shown with the use of Xylitol dental caries (decay) were reduced by 50-70%!