According to health practitioners around the globe, tooth decay is the destruction of the tooth enamel which is the hard outer layer of the teeth. Tooth decay is a problem that affects all individuals from children, teens to adults. Tooth decay is mainly caused by poor oral health, and thus the number one way to fight tooth decay is by ensuring proper oral health.
Tooth decay occurs when foodstuffs containing plenty of starch and sugars such as candy, bread, cakes, cereals, fruits, or milk are left on the teeth for an extended amount of time. The bacteria in the mouth responsible for food digestion turn these food debris into acids. When these acids, bacteria in the mouth, and saliva combine they form a mixture called plaque which clings onto the teeth. After some time, the plaque starts to dissolve the enamel on the teeth surfaces a process sometimes referred to as dental erosion creating holed on the teeth leading to cavities.
As much as it is foodstuffs that cause tooth decay, other foods can help prevent and treat cases of food decay.
One of the prime ingredients for prevention of tooth decays is calcium. Especially for young children, calcium is critical. There are many sources of calcium, and all food that can produce calcium is considered a tooth decay prevention tool. Dairy products such as cheese milk and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium. The calcium from the dairy products is not found in the fat. Therefore, it is important to ensure that milk is skimmed and yogurt is the low-fat type. Other excellent sources of calcium are leafy greens such as broccoli, fish, dried beans and Brazil nuts.
Vegetable and fruits
The common saying goes something like, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The saying is true, and thus it also applies to the dentist. Fruits and vegetables are other sets of foods to help with the problem of tooth decay. Due to their high level of fiber, fruits and vegetables help with the flow of saliva throughout the mouth. The flow of saliva throughout the mouth help rinse away any debris of sugar away from the teeth before they start affecting the enamel. Fruits also have sugar, but the high amount of fiber and water in them help balance the equation thus making them safe for the mouth.
Sugar-free chewing gum
While chewing is known to be one of the leading cause of tooth cavities, chewing of sugar-free gums can prevent plaque formation thus helping with tooth decay.
Eating whole grains provide the body with the essential vitamin B which contribute to maintaining dental health. The magnesium found in whole grains is also important as it helps bones and teeth grow stronger. Additionally, whole grains also contain high levels of fibers which are essential for the teeth as seen earlier. Foods that are high in whole grain composition are pasta, bran, whole grain cereals and brown rice.
Seafood is an excellent option also for prevention of tooth decay. Fish, shellfish, and lobsters can be ideal for prevention as they provide lean protein which is essential in keeping the teeth strong and healthy. Seafood also contains fluoride which helps greatly in reducing teeth decay risks.