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The Truth About Cavemens’ Teeth

If a cave man and one of his modern day descendants were able to get together to compare notes, the cave man would be way ahead when it comes to healthy teeth. “After all,” he could point out, “tooth decay is much more common in your day than in mine.”

Tooth Decay and Diet

And he would be right. The Stone Age diet was not as likely to promote tooth decay as the types of food we eat today. Some researchers believe all tooth decay is related to diet. Here is why. Decay is caused by acid produced by bacteria which digest food particles in the mouth. The acid eats away at the hard enamel covering of the teeth, exposing a softer surface underneath. Processed foods are especially prone to causing decay, because processing and refining makes it easier for bacteria to digest food particles. Carbohydrates are the main villains when it comes to decay producing food. Of carbohydrates in our diet, the most common and most damaging is sugar. (All types of sugar can cause decay, but natural raw sugars like those in fruits are usually too large for bacteria to digest unless left in the mouth for a long time.) Just as important as the amount of sugar eaten is the frequency and the length of time it remains in the mouth. The worst possible eating habit, then, would be to consume sticky sweets throughout the day. This would maximize the chances of sugar remaining on teeth long enough to produce decay.

Decay-Producing Foods

The following food are a few of those known to promote tooth decay: soda pop, condensed milk, chocolate milk, cocoa, sweet sauces, imitation fruit juices, white bread, jams and jellies, ice cream, pastries, dried fruit, candy, sugared gum, processed cereals, marshmallows, graham crackers, macaroni, spaghetti. Of course, food is good for teeth as well. Adequate nutrition is essential to the proper growth and development of teeth. During a child’s first six to eight years, the kind of food he eats will be the most important factor in determining the kind of teeth he will have as an adult. A balanced diet should be composed of four basic categories: dairy products; fruits or vegetables, meat, poultry or fish; and grains. Raw fruits and vegetables are excellent for teeth, since they act as natural cleaners and massage the gums. Tough meat and hard bread can also act as “detergents.” By consuming a well-balanced diet and reducing exposure to decay promoting foods, you can maximize your chances for a healthy smile.

2233 Seneca Street, Buffalo, NY 14210
Phone: 823-2898
Fax: 823-0903
Email: 4adentist@gmail.com
"My promise to you is that our office will treat you to some of the gentlest dental care available in Western New York. We provide this by utilizing the highest diagnostic skills, state-of-the-art dental equipment, treatment planning and procedures all integrated by our highly trained staff. Our team constantly updates its technical skills and strives for perfection in every procedure it undertakes. You have my word that the Hyde dental staff will listen to your concerns and desires and they will come first in any treatment plan we develop." - Dr. Joseph A. Hyde