Dr. Mark C. Gladnick, DDS
Nutritional Counseling, Nutrition Counseling
Dr. Gladnick is a firm believer in the power of good nutrition and its effects of your dental health. He offers nutrition counseling as part of the overall preventative care provided by his practice. For example, some will be surprised to know that candy and sodas are not necessarily the primary offenders!
According to the American Dietetic Association cavity production begins when the bacteria in your mouth combines with the carbohydrates that you ingest to make acids that attack your enamel. The carbohydrates include both sugars and starches. This means that in addition to candy and sodas, eating crackers, cakes, pasta, fruit, bread, and, yes ,even milk can result in the start of cavity production when it combines with the bacteria in your mouth.
This bacteria is found in the dental plaque that may be invisible to you but covers your teeth in a thin film, increasing along the gum line. Once it combines with the carbohydrates that you ingest, they form an acid that literally bathes your teeth for a good twenty minutes after you have ingested the food! The potential for cavity formation is increased the longer the carbohydrate remains in your mouth. When you eat a cracker, for example, the remnants tend to hide in the crevices of your teeth, thus increasing the time of the acid formation. This is also true of sticky candy, raisins, or anything that has a tendency to adhere to your teeth. The longer the food stays in your mouth, the greater its potential to contribute to cavity formation. Likewise, sucking on hard candy for periods of time, or putting a baby to bed with a bottle will increase your chances of ending up with a mouth full of cavities!
So should you stop eating? Of course not! But the answer is to eat sensibly. Make sure that sugary foods and those high in carbohydrates are rinsed completely from your mouth after you are finished eating them. Brushing right after eating meals or snacking is optimal, but if that is not convenient, at least try to swish water around your mouth to get rid of the remnants. Otherwise they will continue to combine with the bacteria already present in your mouth, form acids that will break down your enamel, and potentially cause cavities.
, Nutritional Counseling