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Nov 12, 2009

Healthy Living chomps down on healthy teeth

Story PictureMaintaining a balanced diet is good for your overall health. It is especially good for your teeth. In this edition, Healthy Living looks at how the food that you eat can affect the state of your teeth.

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting
A nutritional diet is important in keeping our bodies healthy but it’s also important in keeping your teeth healthy. That’s because our mouth, specifically our gums and teeth, are the first to come in contact with the food we eat; whether it be healthy or unhealthy.

Dr. Raphael Samos, Senior Dental Surgeon, M.O.H.
“If you notice it’s the first entrance for the food that gets into your system. It affects it very significantly from the amount of cavities of course depending on what type of food you’re eating noh.”

The food we ingest interacts primarily with the bacteria that live in the mouth. But the key link between healthy eating and healthy teeth is not restricted to the type of food we eat but more so the amount of time the mouth is left unclean.

Dr. Raphael Samos
“There would be like four sources of energy for the bacteria that lives in the mouth naturally. It takes only like three minutes after you first ingest food that the bacteria start to produce the acid. And twenty minutes after it reaches to a level that is so high that it can start to decay the teeth. The actual breaking down of the tooth itself takes about three hours. So imagine if from the morning you didn’t brush all the way till the night then those bacteria are having a party. It’s not only the type of food but also when you eat it. How often, what you are ingesting itself. People have in-between snacks and afterwards they don’t brush. That also affects it.”

Bacteria, like plaque, thrive on sugars and starches. So when it comes to the food that is least healthy for your teeth, sweets are on top.

Dr. Raphael Samos
“The sugary foods are the worst ones. The sticky ones are the worst also. The sugary products are the ones that cause the most damage. You have the carbohydrates group that also takes little while longer till they break down to that sugary part.”

This is why it is recommended to limit, not restrict, the sugar intake. Maintaining a healthy diet is overall the best for your health and your teeth. Don’t forget to include your daily water intake.

Dr. Raphael Samos
“We have a list of the products that we can snack on we have the normal ones which are the: the proteins, the carbohydrates like bread, the milk, the oats, milk eggs yogurt. Of course you have to follow the pyramid where you have the amount of servings you eat per day. Most doctors would recommend that after you have eaten you drink the water because there is the product of the saliva. The saliva is the first component that helps in the digestion it contains some enzyme that help to break down the food. That would be the first barrier where by the food is being broken down then other enzymes are added in the stomach and further more in the digestive process. Always is recommended at least eight glasses of water.”

Of course, the diet is one only aspect of good oral hygiene. A good dental regime is the best form of prevention. A practice that Dr. Samos advocates starts from early.

Dr. Raphael Samos
“That is developed from young. Get the child to start brushing. First of all to get them to taste the toothpaste and nowadays it’s even easier because there are so may toothpaste out there in the market.”

Because, as the theme for his years Dental Health Week states: Behind every healthy smile is a healthy child.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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