Figure 8-1. - Food guide pyramid.
It is known that bacteria in dental plaque uses the nutrients in sugary type foods to produce acids. (Dental plaque is discussed in chapter 5, "Oral Pathology," and in Dental Technician, Volume 2, chapter 3, "Preventive Dentistry.") Foods that contain carbohydrates (high sugar content) are referred to as being cariogenic (conducive to the production of dental caries). Dental caries may start when poor oral hygiene is present. The decay process begins when dental plaque and the acid produced from cariogenic foods are left on the teeth for extended periods. Eventually, the acid demineralizes or breaks down enamel and dentin.
To reduce the possibility of dental decay, you should limit the ingestion of sweets to mealtime, and brush and floss thoroughly after meals. Some of the less cariogenic snack foods include fruits and vegetables. However, the least cariogenic snack foods are limited to skim milk, sugar free gum, sugarless soft drinks, sugarless gelatins, and a few others. Ideally, caries may be avoided by properly brushing and flossing right after eating.Continue Reading