Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Community News Network

July 1, 2013

Brush up on foods that are good for teeth

When my boys recently had their teeth checked, their dentist warned them that summer is the worst time for cavities. Parental rules relax, allowing more candy and soda into the mix at the same time brushing slackens.

As much as I hate to admit it, I can see this happening in our household. Does anyone else have a tween boy who thinks brushing and showering are a sprint? He has mastered speed, but effectiveness . . . not so much. I'm not sure those teeth are being cleaned as they should.

Tooth decay begins with bacteria that naturally live in the mouth. These bacteria burn sugar in order to thrive and during this process convert sugar into acid. The acid then eats away at a tooth's enamel, which begins the decay and cavity process.

So sugary foods such as candy, soda, sports drinks and ice cream provide fuel for the bacteria, but there is actually a trifecta of criteria that make foods bad for teeth: anything that has sugar or acid or is sticky.

Food-based causes of tooth decay

- Sugary foods fuel bacteria.

- Many children consume their sweet or gummy vitamins after they brush their teeth, so the sugar remains on their teeth all morning.

- Sticky foods such as Skittles, Starburst candies, gummies and dried fruits linger on the teeth, giving the bacteria extra occasion to execute damage.

- Long-lasting fare, such as lollipops, Jolly Ranchers and cough drops, allows the sugar to dawdle in the mouth for a prolonged period.

- Starchy foods such as french fries, white bread and pretzels that easily lodge between teeth are quickly converted to sugar by the pre-digestive saliva.

- Acidic foods and drinks such as soda, citrus and tomatoes eat away the enamel of teeth.

- Chewing on ice can cause tiny fractures in the teeth that over time collect extra bacteria and cause additional breakage.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • College graduates are sorting themselves into elite cities

    Census data suggests that in 1980 a college graduate could expect to earn about 38 percent more than a worker with only a high-school diploma. Since then, the difference in their wages has only widened as our economy has shifted to bestow greater and greater rewards on the well-educated. By 1990, that number was about 57 percent. By 2011: 73 percent.

    July 11, 2014

  • New state laws go into effect July 15

    Victims of domestic violence in Kentucky will soon be allowed fast access to concealed carry gun permits while voters from precincts surrounding state parks in dry counties will be able to vote to allow alcohol sales.

    July 11, 2014

  • 140516-recalls_1357_88cb85dbc81b724b4ae9c83db4426fd8.jpg Auto recalls break single-year US record with six months to go

    With six months left in 2014, automakers have already recalled more vehicles in the United States than in any other year on record.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • President Barack Obama mug Best president? Worst president? Don't read too much into those polls

    The questions about who are the best and worst post-WWII presidents are useless. What they mainly show is that Republicans are far more unified around a single story than are Democrats.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lawmaker: State can take control of mental health agency

    A state lawmaker is suggesting the state has legal authority to take control of Seven Counties Services, the mental health/mental retardation agency that has filed for bankruptcy with the goal of withdrawing from Kentucky’s troubled employee retirement system.

    June 25, 2014

  • Glasgow native to run for Ag commissioner

    Jean-Marie Lawson Spann announced Wednesday she will run for state Commissioner of Agriculture next year.

    June 25, 2014

  • Edelen elects not to run for governor

    Democrat Adam Edelen announced Wednesday he won’t run for governor next year and will instead seek re-election to a second term as state Auditor of Public Accounts.

    June 25, 2014

  • Warren coming to rally for Grimes

    Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren will join Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes Sunday on the University of Louisville campus for a rally on college affordability.

    June 24, 2014

  • Betty J. Griffey

    Betty Jane Griffey, age 90, of Clermont, Fla., and formerly of Conneaut, Ohio, passed away Saturday, May 3, 2014, at Mike Conley Hospice House, Clermont, Fla.

    June 22, 2014

  • Kentucky actually fares well under new EPA regs

    FRANKFORT — Kentucky politicians and the coal industry howled about the latest installment of greenhouse gas emission regulations issued last week by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

    June 19, 2014