'Tis the season to let our diets and food choices slide just a little, and with a few words of caution, that's okay!
When you consume starchy or sugary foods, you are feeding the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, and this is when saliva can come to the rescue. Try eating naughty foods during a meal, when more saliva is present. Certain foods can also enhance saliva production, like fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, such as berries and green vegetables, which is a natural way to defend against getting cavities and gum disease.
Cheese is another saliva maker and has the added benefit of adding minerals to your teeth, as do some other dairy products. Sugarless gums, especially the type sweetened with xylitol, are terrific for removing food particles, increasing saliva and stopping bacteria's ability to secrete acid. Careful of alcohol in your beverages and mouthwash; both are drying to the mouth.
Anything that sits in your mouth for an extended time is a no-no. Lollipops, cough drops made with refined sugar, caramels that leave a sticky residue are all notorious. Probably the worst offenders are beverages, as we sip them over time and between meals, they are almost always high in acidity and sugars and generally provide no nutritional value. Reconsider that glass of fruit juice in the morning for a small dish of berries instead.
Drink more plain water, brush twice and floss once a day for a New Year's resolution! Have a safe and merry Christmas holiday.
Lake Grove Dental
16455 Boones Ferry Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035