24803 Detroit Road, Westlake, OH 44145-2512
14780 Pearl Road Suite 200 Strongsville, OH 44136

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Strongsville (440) 268-0768
Westlake (440) 835-5388

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(440) 213-2156

Oral Health, Teeth Whitening & Tooth Decay Prevention

Girl Getting Teeth Cleaned

Tooth erosion leads to a progressive, irreversible loss of tooth structure that is chemically etched away from tooth surfaces by acid. It is another ever-increasing problem in industrialized countries. It results from the increased ingestion of acidic beverages—soft drinks, fruit juices, sodas, and sports drinks. Not only are they high in sugars content, but they are also very acidic—even the diet drinks. Extrinsic acids contained in these beverages, when consumed frequently, once or more a day, can cause erosion. Any acidic drink, even if mildly acidic, may irritate it.

Overzealous oral hygiene and grinding habits can also worsen dental erosion. Brushing your teeth after consuming any acidic product, before the saliva has had a chance to buffer (neutralize) the acid and re-mineralize the tooth surface, will actually cause the removal of the softened enamel.

Foods That Protect Against Decay

Cheese: Consuming cheese after a sugary snack prevents and increase in acidity. Cheese stimulates saliva and is rich in calcium, influencing the balance of re-calcifying teeth and protecting against loss of calcium.

Cow’s Milk: Contains lactose, which is less acid-producing than other sugars and does not promote decay as readily. In addition, it also contains calcium, phosphorus, and casein, all of which help stop decay. However, bottle feeding milk at night can cause decay.

Plant Foods: Are fibrous and protect teeth by mechanically stimulating saliva. Peanuts, hard cheeses, and gum that contains xylitol can act the same way.

Black & Green Teas: Are particularly rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, which are complex antioxidant compounds found in many plant foods. The fluoride in black tea may also protect against decay.

Chocolate: There is some evidence that cocoa in an unrefined form (without added sugars) may have some anti-decay potential due to the polyphenolic compounds present, but processed chocolate is too high in sugar to be good for the teeth.

Looking after your teeth is important if you want them to last a lifetime! Sticking to a nutritionally sound diet that is low in free sugars, high in fiber – lots of fruits and vegetables – and drinking plenty of water (preferably fluoridated) will safeguard your oral and dental health, as well as your general health and well-being.

Recommendations to Promote Good Oral and General Health

  1. DO eat a healthy, nutritionally sound diet, get plenty of exercise, and follow the recommendation of the USDA.
  2. DON'T eat sugary snacks between meals.
  3. DO eat sugars in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  4. DON'T consume more than a maximum equivalent of 6 teaspoons of processed sugar per day (or 3 if a child.)
  5. DO limit the amount and frequency of soft drinks, juices, sodas, and sports drinks — to minimize the risk of tooth decay and acid erosion.
  6. DON'T eat for at least an hour before bedtime, especially foods containing processed sugars — low salivary flow rates during sleep reduce the ability to neutralize acid, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

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