The foods and substances that we ingest are a complex chemical mixture of organic and inorganic material. They provide us with the nutrients the body needs for growth, development and maintenance but, in general, they are mixed with different substances and materials or even toxins. These can affect, in addition to our health in general, the health of our teeth. And it is that the foods harmful to oral health even have a proper name: cariogenic foods.
By definition a cariogenic diet is one that includes foods with a high presence of carbohydrates, especially fermentable sugars such as sucrose, which are easily deposited on the dental surfaces that are prone to retain food (such as furrows, fissures, etc.).
Here we explain the most important factors to consider before choosing the foods that you will consume. And if you do, brush your teeth right away:
Physical properties of the food: The more adherent the food, the longer it remains attached to the tooth. Chewing gum with sugar and candies are some of the enemies of oral health that have that property. In addition, the consistency of the food is an important factor. In contrast, hard and fibrous foods, such as apples, exert a detergent action on the tooth, helping to clean it.
Chemical composition of the food: The development of some oral diseases depends mainly on the presence of carbohydrates – also called carbohydrates. These are digested by the microorganisms present in the oral cavity, favoring their growth and proliferation. Sucrose is the most cariogenic carbohydrate, followed by glucose, maltose, fructose, lactose and sorbitol.
Occasion in which the food is consumed: The appearance of caries not only depends on the type of food, but on the frequency and the moment in which one eats. The carcinogenicity of a food is greater when it is ingested between meals, since during consumption there is greater salivation, which helps and accelerates the elimination of waste.