While most Americans know that eating heaps of sugar can spur tooth decay and compromise dental health, many may be unaware of the additional ways one's eating habits can affect oral hygiene.
Though sugars which can create acid in the mouth are the biggest culprits in causing cavities, their damage can be significantly diminished if the mouth is able to quickly return to a neutral pH of 7.0, the Dallas Morning News reports.
In this way, "the forms of food, the frequency of consumption and the timing" also play key roles in promoting dental health, according to Lisa Harper Mallonee, a dental hygienists and professor of dentistry at Baylor College.
Harper Mallonee told the news source, "If your vice is to drink a Coke every day, then drink it all up. If you're sipping throughout the day, your mouth doesn't have the chance to recover that neutral pH."
In addition, Harper Mallonee's colleague Linda Niessen recommends drinking water before consuming sweet foods to remove the bacteria which react with sugar to form plaque.
According to the Maryland Department of Health, the vitamin D found in dairy products can also help reduce the risk of tooth decay.
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