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Dental Health Tip, When Not to Eat: 1800Dentist.com

Proper nutrition is an important part of maintaining health. Those who eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains in proportion to the new government Nutrition Plate have improved odds of dental health than their processed food loving counterparts. However, it is important to note that WHEN food is eaten is equally important as WHAT types of meals are consumed.

Regardless of if a food is categorized as a leafy green, dairy food or simply a vice for pleasure, the process of how the food and masticated and digested is identical. The task begins with a human biting off a piece of food with their teeth and then chewing to break down that food into smaller pieces. As the chewing commences, saliva production increases to help dissolve food further and to moisten the compounds to help swallowing. After the food is swallowed, a mouth may look empty there will be trace elements of food and sugar left behind on teeth. Oral bacteria will feast on the remnants lingering about; regardless of it came from an apple or a doughnut. As a result of their work, acid will be produced as a byproduct. It is that acid that if left unchecked can lead to dental problems including tooth decay and gum disease. The process happens any time of day or night, making when to eat a vital component to good dental health.

Kill Dental Health with Late Night Snacking

A circadian rhythm is the 24-hour biological cycle on which the human body operates and it is that mechanism that distinguishes morning people from their less zippy counterparts. Self proclaimed night people might be at a greater risk for declining dental health based on their eating schedule and their dental care regime.

Research has indicated that late night snacking can wreak havoc on dental health. Scientists from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Copenhagen University studied the medical files of over 2,217 men and women between the ages of 30 to 60. Group participants that were classified as being "nocturnal eaters" were at greater risk for developing dental problems.

The research team reviewed data including oral health, eating behaviors and well being and primarily turned their attention on the 173 study participants that admitted to late night snacking either twice a week or who consumed the bulk of their calories after sundown. Statistics indicated that those who ate at conventional hours had better oral health than nocturnal eaters.

Soda Sipping, A Known Dental Assassin

Sodas are delicious and refreshing and when consumed on the rare occasion and in controlled time increments, the devices are a fine treat. However, individuals who opt to sip on either a sugary or diet soda for hours instead of clean water, increase their odds of developing dental problems down the line.

Just like solid food, liquids can also include sugars favored by oral bacterium. Consumers who keep a can of the sweet stuff nearby and sip on it for hours with no other foods or beverages in between will have a constant deposit of sugar on their teeth, even when drinking diet soda. Oral bacteria never sleep and will graze on those sugars until they are washed away and will destroy tooth enamel during that process. As they consume, more acid will be produced and that will increase the odds of a person developing dental problems.

Dental Care Tips for Off Eaters

Individuals should not be denied their late night snack or afternoon caffeine jolt, instead 1-800-DENTIST advises paying special attention to oral hygiene to minimize the potential risks associated with those behaviors. Those steps include:

  • Drinking lots of water: If a soda is a must, drinking water afterwards will help wash away sugars. Additionally, some late night eating may be an unconscious behavior occurring during slumber. Keeping a glass of water by the bedside and taking a sip upon consciousness will help wash away potential debris.
  • Find Another Alternative: While some individuals must eat late at night because of their schedules, others do so out of habit. For the latter, make sure to stop late night grazing and if not, make sure to brush and floss teeth prior to slumber.
  • Make Healthy Food Choices: Not only does late night snacking and soda sipping contribute to dental woes, but both behaviors can contribute to weight gain and obesity. If you must eat at off hours during the day, make sure it is the best food for dental health possible.

Individuals looking for more information about how their eating habits may be destroying their dental health should seek the advice of a dentist. A dentist is the first line of defense for detecting dental problems and implementing preventative dentistry to minimize any further damage. Late night eaters and soda sippers can find a great dentist simply by calling 1-800-DENTIST.