Nutrition and Dental Health
Dr. Boyd completed his master's degree in Human Nutrition at Michigan State University where he worked on research projects related to childhood obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. He was a member of the Peace Corps preparatory program in the mid-1970's and spent a summer in Honduras, Central America teaching parents and children about the relationship between cane surgar and rampant tooth decay. Per Dr. Kevin's passion for healthy nutrition, we incorporate healthy eating tips into each exam, consultation and dental/orthodontic treatment visit. Healthy eating plays a large role in the proper development of teeth, jaws and faces and also contributes to the overall health of our patients. Three major categories of dental disease: tooth decay (dental caries,) early gum disease (gingivitis) and narrow jaws/crooked teeth (malocclusion) are all impacted by dietary practices. Beyond tooth decay, many have difficulty seeing a relationship between nutrition and other aspects of dental disease. Scientific research clearly supports a very strong connection between over-consumption of simple carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and acidic/cavity-causing dental plaque. As we all know, food enters the body through the mouth, thus making it the doorway, or gatekeeper to the rest of the body. Eating healthy foods produces healthy mouths...and healthy bodies!
Healthy eating and snacking habits are important to dental health because the most common dental problem, plaque build-up, is preventable by cutting out certain foods and regulating others. Plaque, an opaque build up that accumulates on teeth near the gum-line, thrives on starches and sugars commonly found in sweets and snack foods. The interaction between the bacteria in your mouth and sugars and starches promotes plaque growth which produces an acid that eats at the enamel of teeth and eventually causes tooth decay. The best defense against tooth decay is to limit the amount of sweets and starchy snacks, brush well after each meal, and keep regular professional dental hygiene appointments.
At Dentistry for Children, we promote the overall health of our patients by incorporating nutrition education for parents and children. It is our goal to contribute to healthy eating and dental habits for our patients and families.
Munching foods like cheese, nuts and apples after eating a carb heavy meal can actually help prevent cavities. These textured foods break up the sticky plaque to help neutralize the acid in your mouth.