According to the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nutrition has been shown to have an effect on teeth, oral mucosa, and alveolar bone. Dental carries is the most infectious disease in childhood, five times more than asthma. Good hygiene, with fluoridated toothpaste, may prevent dental enamel. Besides candy, citrus foods such as oranges, lemons, and tangerines can have a detrimental effect on tooth enamel.
Foods that are lower in fermentable sugar, added sugars in foods, and high in calcium and phosphate (milk and cheese) have been known to increase the mineralization of tooth enamel. Foods that are in high in ph such as cheese, cashews, nuts, and blueberries should be consumed to promote enamel mineralization. Stronger tooth enamel leads to less chance of tooth decay.
Proteins and phosphate are nutrients in foods that help to promote the saliva flow, promoting dental health. Though sugar consumption is important, there are other nutritional factors that must be considered. Key issues to consider in evaluating children’s risk of cavities are food form, frequency of sugars consumption, other fermentable carbohydrates, retention time, nutrient composition, the potential of the food to stimulate saliva, and combinations of foods.
The frequency of consumption appears to be a significant contributor to the carcinogenicity of the diet. This means that it is not the occasional sugar cookie that causes cavities, but the continuous function on a daily basis. Like mentioned earlier, the presence of a variety of individual characteristics—such as low or high salivary pH, genetic predisposition, previous history of dental cavities, use of medications, incidence of systemic or local diseases that affect the immune system, and personal hygiene habits—also play a role in the associated dental cavity risks of particular foods.
Many studies have showed that the longer those foods are retained in the oral cavity, the greater the potential the starch is broken down into sugars and contribute to the caries process. Simple carbohydrates such as white bread and packaged cereals may cause the increase of dental carries. The initial content of sugars is not the culprit; rather, it is the type of starch and extent of starch retention time in the oral cavity that helps determine the relative carcinogenic risk of the food.
A higher frequency of carbohydrates, particular simple, means more demineralization and less remineralization. Foods that promote lower ph may lead to dental erosion. The critical pH for enamel dissolution is 5.5. Any food with a pH lower than 5.5 may contribute to or stimulate tooth erosion. Most of the time acidic foods pose a threat in the overall functioning of the body.
However in this case, these acidic foods help to alleviate, rather than worsen dental cavities. In people with adequate saliva and good oral hygiene habits, acidic fluids and foods pose minimal risk when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Polyphenols such as tannins in cocoa, coffee, tea, and many fruit juices have also been contributed the incidence of dental caries.
Another good nutritional habit is rinsing the mouth with water and chewing sugarless gum, which contains sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols help to stimulate remineralization. If your child decides to drink acidic beverages such as soft drinks, advise your children to drink, rather than sip.
Dairy such as ice cream, milk, and cheese help to prevent dental caries due to their high acidic content. Blueberries, plums, and cranberries are a few fruit that may help to prevent dental caries. In this article, many nutritional recommendations were made about the prevention of dental cavities.