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Healthy Tips

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Fight with Cavities

 

We know how sticky sweets promote tooth decay. What you may not realize is that some foods prevent tooth decay.


Preventing Decay through Nutrition

Decay occurs only when the inside of the mouth is acidic. This happens when you eat starchy or sugary foods (carbohydrates). Starchy foods linger in the mouth longer than sugary foods. It is best to reduce your intake of these foods and to eat them at mealtimes.

Some foods may have protective qualities. Cocoa and rice contain a substance that protects against tooth decay. Phosphates in foods are also beneficial. A very small portion of aged cheese or raw peanuts, eaten before or after a snack or meal, helps to neutralize mouth acids and to remineralize teeth. Buy plain, all-natural peanut butter, without added sugar of any kind.


Fluoride Prevent Cavities?

What is it

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in most community water supplies. In the 1940s, scientists discovered there was an optimal level of natural fluoride in these water supplies, that was high enough to significantly reduce dental cavities among the residents but low enough to avoid serious side effects. Fluoridation is the adjustment of the natural fluoride concentrations to achieve this optimal level- about one part of fluoride to one million parts of water.

Reliable scientific data have consistently indicated that water fluoridation is a cost-effective, safe and practical means for reducing the incidence of dental caries. Most Utah water supplies already contain some fluoride but only 51% of Utah citizens have drinking water with fluoride levels that are adequate to prevent cavities.


How it prevent Cavities

Fluoride researchers originally thought that fluoride changed the tooth surface and inhibited cavities only when incorporated in dental enamel as the tooth was developing, before the tooth erupted into the mouth. More recent research indicates that fluoride works primarily after teeth have erupted, especially when small amounts are maintained constantly in the mouth, specifically in dental plaque and saliva. Thus, adults also benefits from fluoride, rather than only children, as was previously assumed. Studies have shown that optimal water fluoridation reduces the amount of decay in children by as much as 40-60% and nearly 35% in adults.

Maximum decay reduction is realized when fluoride is available in the right amount, in the right place at the right time. Water fluoridation helps maintain an appropriate concentration of fluoride in the mouth.


Is fluoride safe?

Higher than recommended levels of fluoride have been shown to cause some discoloration of teeth but this problem only occurs in a very small percentage of the population and is mostly of the mildest form in optimally fluoridated areas. A few small research projects have questioned whether increased rates of certain health problems were associated with community water fluoridation but these theories have not been confirmed by larger, well-designed studies.

Despite the decades of experience with water fluoridation in communities with large populations, no legitimate large-scale epidemiological, laboratory, or clinical study has demonstrated that long-term ingestion of fluoride at optimal levels in water causes disease or illness.


Systemic fluoride., what is that

Systemic fluorides are those that are ingested into the body and become incorporated into forming tooth structures. Systemic fluorides can also give topical protection because fluoride is present in saliva, which continually bathes the teeth. Systemic fluorides include water fluoridation or dietary fluoride supplements in the form of tablets, drops or lozenges.


Some tooth-saving foods

Nuts and seeds
Meat, fish, poultry, and eggs
Olives and dill pickles
Milk, plain yogurt, and cheese

 


 
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