Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.

NUTRITION

Good nutrition plays a large role in your dental health. Brushing and flossing help keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. However, a balanced diet will help to boost your body’s immune system, leaving you less vulnerable to oral disease.

How often and what you eat have been found to affect your dental health. Eating starchy foods such as crackers, bread, cookies, and candy causes the bacteria in your mouth to feed on it. They then produce acids which attack your teeth for up to 20 minutes or more. Foods that stick to your teeth or are slow to dissolve give the acids more time to work on destroying your tooth enamel.

Sticky/slow to dissolve foods:         

  • granola bars
  • chewy fruit snacks
  • dried fruit
  • potato chips
  • hard candy

Starchy foods:

  • crackers
  • breads
  • cookies
  • candy
  • Sticky and starchy foods create less acid when eaten as part of a meal. Saliva production increases at mealtime, rinsing away food particles and neutralizing harmful acids.

Foods such as nuts, cheese, onions, and some teas have been shown to slow growth of decay-causing bacteria in the mouth.