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Dieting? Minimize negative impact on your teeth

Brought to you by Todd Gifford, DMD, Gifford Family Dentistry - Dental INSIDER -

GIFFORD FAMILY DENTISTRY - Todd Gifford, DMDFrustrated with excess weight and tempted to try something extreme to drop pounds? Be careful. Changes in consumption may help you win the battle of the bulge, but some diets can also increase your risk of tooth decay.

Here's the skinny on how popular diets can affect your mouth: 

Fat-Free/Low-Fat Diets/Grazing — All sorts of fat-free or low-fat food and beverages are available, but sugar is typically added to improve the taste, which can lead to increased risk of tooth decay. Grazing, eating smaller meals more frequently, keeps your mouth in an acidic state in which decay-causing bacteria thrive.

Juice Cleanses — Often perceived as a healthier way to drop unwanted pounds because of its focus on fruit and vegetable blends, the non-stop contact of fructose and acids with your teeth can cause tooth stains and decay, as well as enamel loss.

Low-Carb Diets — Eliminating processed foods and breads certainly decreases the amount of sugar in your diet. However, there is a potential downside: halitosis (bad breath) due to ketosis — a process your body undergoes when it burns abnormally high amounts of fat because carbohydrates are no longer available.

Protect your teeth:

Brush two minutes twice a day and floss at least once per day

Rinse your mouth with water after every meal, snack or beverage — helps clear food particles and neutralizes the acids faster

Choose Xylitol sugar-free gum and candy — Promotes saliva production, kills decay-causing bacteria

Visit the dentist often — Keep your mouth in shape with regular exams and cleanings.

Gifford Family Dentistry

1616 SW Sunset Blvd., Ste E

Portland, OR 97239