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Worse Vices for Dental Health: 1800Dentist.com

Some individuals would not give up their vices for anything, including improved dental health. However, when it comes to choosing a sinful obsession, some choices are better than others, especially for those concerned about how tooth decay and gum disease can impact their general well being as a whole.

America's health habits are getting worse. The country tops the list for obesity levels in regards to industrialized nations and that can be attributed to America being a fast food nation that is fueled by soda and processed foods. Additionally, many of the nation's citizens are short on sleep, high on stress and not exercising enough to balance the pressure. Many of these behaviors are fueled by bad decisions and individuals concerned that their vices are destroying their oral health may want to choose better options.

Soda Consumption

Ever since the first soft drink made it onto the scene, soda, sports drinks and energy drinks have become the favorite ways for humans to hydrate and refresh. Turns out that plain water is the best choice for dental health.

Statistics show that American's are drinking more processed beverages than ever. Annually, the average Jane, Joe and their children consume 56 gallons of soda each, featuring over 150 pounds of sugar. Not only is the bad vice helping pack on the pounds and contribute to the nation's growing obesity epidemic the behavior is causing an increase in dental problems including higher levels of dental plaque, tooth decay and gum disease. The cause are the simple sugars left behind on teeth that will provide a banquet for oral bacteria.

The time period between 1977 and 2001 has shown that soda consumption has increased while the general health of the Average American has been in decline. During that eon, the daily calorie consumption of soft drinks almost tripled and grew from Daily 2.8 percent to 7 percent. Experts suggest that this increase was in addition to the calories already being consumed via solid foods.

The one exception was in relationship with milk. Although milk itself is liquid, the dairy food has long been associated with improving dental health courtesy of the mix of nutrients including Vitamin D and calcium. In general, milk consumptions dropped by 38 percent with the largest decline was marked in children aged 2 to 18. Within that demographic milk consumption decreased from 13 percent in 1977 to a bit over 8 percent in 2001 (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/17/health/webmd/main644191.shtml).

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention has noted that more than 19 percent of children aged 2 to 19 have untreated cavities. While this trend has not been directly linked to a historical increase in soda drinking, logic cannot help but dictate a ruling.

Processed Foods

The U.S. Government has stated that since the turn of the 21st century, Americans are eating more food than their 1950s counterpart to the tune of eating hundreds of more calories daily. While this can be viewed as a positive attribute associated with American abundance, it really should be aligned with the advent of the processed food industry and the risks involved with ignoring the proper Nutritional Plate guidelines.

Within the nation, the food industry is big business to the tune of over $1,638 billion annually (http://www.plunkettresearch.com/food%20beverage%20grocery%20market%20research/industry%20statistics). The sale of fresh fruits and vegetables, only makes up for a fraction of that number iand that is negatively impacting dental health as a whole. Instead, a majority of Americans rely on fast food, processed foods made with sugar and white flour and take-away meals high on flavor and fat and low on nutrition.

While the Government recommends consumers following a diet featuring a Nutritional Plate filled with 50 percent fruits and vegetables, most Americans only get about two servings a day of those important foods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent say that imbalance is causing over 400,000 Americans to get ill annually (http://www.thebostonchannel.com/r-slideshow/26774678/detail.html). It is also causing a decline in dental health.

Diets rich in leafy greens help fight oral cancer. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids help curbs gum inflammation and gum disease. Pears and apples are fiber dense foods that when eaten whole can remove excess dental plaque and reduce the odds of cavity development. Unfortunately, the average American diet is devoid of these types of foods.


There is nothing more relaxing than chilling out on a couch or recliner after a hard day's work, but a completely sedentary lifestyle only contributes to higher levels of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Research has indicated that 95 percent of the country's population are not getting enough exercise and that will more than double the odds of developing the above conditions that have all been directly associated with declining dental health.

The findings have come courtesy of research conducted by the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine. Their efforts found that the individuals with a normal body mass and who exercise regularly (a total of approximately 5 percent of the entire U.S. population) are less likely to have gum disease (1-800-DENTIST). The study involving more than 12,100 participants and analyzed the same factors used to measure the lower the odds of developing heart disease and diabetes. The study found that regular exercise can reduce the odds of developing gum disease by 40 percent.

Individuals are advised to put down the soda, processed foods and start moving their bodies on a regular basis. By following those simple behaviors, choosing the best vices for dental health and backing those changes with oral hygiene and regular dental visits, dental problems can be minimized or avoided all together. Individuals looking to find a dentist in order to conduct their due diligence in regards to their dental care simply need to call 1-800-DENTIST.

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