Enamel is the hardest substance in the body and it protects the crown of the teeth. But it is susceptible to demineralization from acids. Acids are produced when certain bacteria colonize the tooth surface and metabolize carbohydrates. If this process continues it may eventually lead to decay in the enamel and dentin. Many foods and beverages contain acids that can lead to demineralization of the enamel. Soda is one of the most significant dietary sources of acid capable of producing demineralization of the enamel. Soda also contains other ingredients that produce demineralization independent of its content of acid content or fermentable sugars. Also, brands of soda that contain artificial sweetners still pose a significant threat because of their acidic content which contributes to the demineralization of enamel.
The consumption of soda in the United States has increased in alarming proportions. In the 1950’s the typical soda serving size was 6.5 oz. By the 1960’s this had increased to 12 oz. In the 1990’s the typical serving size ballooned up to 20 oz. One of the hidden dangers with the increase in soda consumption is that people drink less milk. Milk contains calcium lactate, which stimulates remineralization of enamel. The danger of soda to your teeth should not be underestimated.
Your nutrition can play an important role in maintaining good oral health. A proper diet must be balanced and to include all the main food groups as: fruits and vegetables, milk products, meat, fish etc.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY NUTRITION
- Avoid foods with high concentration of sugar (cakes, ice cream, honey…)
- Prefer foods rich to nutritious ingredients but without sugar (milk, yogurt, rice, meat, fish, fruits….)
- Don’t consider sweet only the foods with sweet taste. Check the concentration of sugar.
- Don’t forget that many refreshments have a high concentration of sugar.
- You may consume sweets only at the main meals. Don’t eat sweets between meals. (During meals the saliva production is increased neutralizing most of the acids. That’s why a sweet during meal is less hazardous than one taken between the meals).
- It is better to finish your meal with yellow cheese that helps neutralizing the acids in our mouth, especially after the consumption of sweet foods.
- The food’s structure is also important:
- Wet foods act for only a limited amount of time
- Tough foods are the safest because they increase the saliva production and help to the self-cleaning of teeth
- Soft and sticky foods are dangerous because they attach and get between the teeth providing a better environment for the bacteria.
- The dental plaque, the main enemy of your good oral health, is growing feeding itself from the sugar of your food.
- The habit of consuming sweets is developed from the very first years of life.
- In most cases the parents are responsible for it because they give their kids foods with sugar to keep them happy and quiet.
- Between meals give to your children fruits, vegetables or cheese instead of cakes or biscuits. They are both nutritious and safe for the teeth. Control the consumption of sugar.
- If kids are encouraged to this type of nutrition from small age they will reduce the sugar consumption for the rest of their life.