Diet oral health and wellness
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Diet, Oral Health and Wellness. What’s the connection?. Diet and oral health are closely related A healthy dentition is needed to chew fresh, whole foods and…… The foods we choose to eat can directly impact the health of teeth and gums The goal is healthy mouths and healthy bodies.

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Diet, Oral Health and Wellness

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Diet oral health and wellness

Diet, Oral Health and Wellness


What s the connection

What’s the connection?

  • Diet and oral health are closely related

    • A healthy dentition is needed to chew fresh, whole foods

      and……

    • The foods we choose to eat can directly impact the health of teeth and gums

    • The goal is healthy mouths and healthy bodies


To develop a cavity you need

To develop a cavity you need…

  • A susceptible tooth

  • Decay-causing bacteria (dental plaque)

  • Carbohydrate (carbohydrates are composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen = CHO)

    Sugar (CHO) + Bacteria = Acid Production


Diet oral health and wellness

  • How do you strengthen the teeth to reduce decay?

  • How do you reduce bacterial plaque?

  • Should you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet?


Carbohydrates fuel us

Carbohydrates Fuel Us

  • Simple CHO-table sugar, honey, fructose

  • Complex CHO-found in vegetables, whole fruits and whole grains, fiber

  • The frequency eaten (how often) and the texture (how sticky) of the CHO are important factors to consider when changing the diet to decrease dental decay

  • All CHO’s can demineralize tooth enamel


Simple sugar sticky texture

Simple Sugar-Sticky Texture


Eat less simple carbohydrates

Eat Less Simple Carbohydrates


Eat more complex carbohydrates

Eat More Complex Carbohydrates


Developing bones teeth need calcium rich foods dairy products

Developing bones/teeth need calcium rich foods/dairy products


Benefits of drinking water

Benefits of Drinking Water

  • Frequently drinking soda pop and fruit juices can increase the risk for tooth decay

  • When you are thirsty, reach for water, it is calorie free and may contain fluoride

  • Water is an essential nutrient needed for total health

  • Most bottled water does not contain fluoride


Bottled water

Bottled water


Children need two types of fluoride

Children Need Two Types of Fluoride

  • Topical (you may need two or more)

    toothpaste, gels, rinses

    (topical sources are not swallowed)

  • Systemic (you only need one)

    community water fluoridation or prescription fluoride supplements

    (systemic sources are swallowed)


Saliva s a good thing

Saliva’s a Good Thing….

  • Saliva offers natural protection against decay – it neutralizes the acid in the mouth

  • Individuals with less saliva and “dry” mouths are at more risk for tooth decay

  • Chewing sugarless gum after a meal or snack does promote saliva production which can help protect teeth


Impact of eating disorders

Bulimia Nervosa – frequent vomiting causes enamel erosion due to the acid content, which can lead to tooth decay

Anorexia Nervosa – starvation diets rob teeth and bodies of essential nutrients

A balanced diet and regular exercise is the best combination to maintain a healthy weight

Impact of Eating Disorders


Dental erosion

Dental Erosion


To reduce dental decay you can

To Reduce Dental Decay You Can…

  • Strengthen the tooth enamel with appropriate fluorides

  • Protect the chewing surfaces of teeth with dental sealants

  • Brush & floss daily to remove bacteria

  • Limit servings of sticky CHO foods and sweet beverages / increase complex CHO


Dental sealant

Molar on right has no sealant. Dark spot may be start of decay

Molar on left has sealant

Dental Sealant


Make the connection

Make the Connection

  • A healthy mouth means a healthy body

  • Eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods will improve oral health and general health

  • Reducing the frequency of sugary foods and beverages will reduce tooth decay and help maintain a healthy weight


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