I Eat a Healthy Diet. Can I Still Get Cavities?
What you eat and drink affects your oral health and your overall health at the same time. At Dental Express in San Diego, CA, our team offers our patients healthy eating guidelines to help them keep their teeth and gums healthy. During a dental exam, we look at your teeth and gums and ask questions about your diet to determine if it’s affecting your oral health. We can discuss soda drinking and the causes of cavities. Every food or beverage you consume comes in contact with your teeth. Acid and sugar attack your teeth. Ultimately, good oral hygiene focuses on the importance of clean teeth and gums. While a healthy diet is great for your health, if you don’t follow proper at-home oral hygiene that removes plaque from your teeth, you can still get a cavity.
What causes cavities and tooth decay?
Tooth decay damages the teeth and can lead to the need for fillings and, in severe cases, tooth extractions. Decay occurs when sugar reacts with bacteria in plaque. From there, acid forms that attack the teeth and erodes the natural tooth enamel. When this happens, it breaks down, and a cavity forms. The decay process can accelerate quickly. This makes having regular dental exams and routine dental cleanings at Dental Express in San Diego, CA, especially important to detect these dental problems early on.
High sugar and processed foods and beverages can wear away your tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. This makes it important for all of our patients to eat healthily, so they have healthy teeth and gums. We recommend a well-balanced diet with healthy snacks. These healthy eating guidelines help reduce your risk of enamel erosion and the risk of cavities and gum disease.
What is erosion?
Acidic food and beverages can lead to erosion, the gradual dissolving of the tooth enamel. The lower the pH of a food or beverage, the more acidic it is. Milk, citrus juices, soda, red wine, coffee, and vinegar are all erosive beverages. During a comprehensive dental exam, our team can determine if your diet is too acidic, which affects your oral health. When you consume high-acid foods or beverages, drink plenty of water to wash away any harmful acids.
Healthy food for teeth and gums
An anti-inflammatory diet has been proven to lead to healthier gums and less lost teeth. Foods high in fat and refined sugars can also cause inflammation. Healthy fats, such as avocado, fatty fish, or olive oil, are all foods for healthy teeth and good for oral health.
We recommend alkaline foods low in acids for healthy snack choices, including:
Yogurt (low or no sugar)
How often should I brush my teeth?
It’s important to brush your teeth at bedtime and at least one other time during the day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Brushing right after eating can brush away a portion of your enamel, so wait for at least 20 minutes after a meal before you brush your teeth. Brushing at night is most important as saliva flow slows down at night and can increase your risk of decay if you don’t remove all food particles beforehand.
Learn how eating a healthy diet influences your dental health
During dental exams and dental cleanings at Dental Express, our team can discuss your diet with you at our San Diego, CA office. We offer helpful tips on food and dental health that help improve your oral health. To schedule a dental examination today, call our team or request an appointment online.