Dental Health Info Article

Best Carbohydrates for Dental Health

Thanks to the advent of high-protein diets, carbohydrates have erroneously evolved into a dirty word. The organic compounds are important to the body's self regulating system as the devices perform numerous roles including storing energy, provide the backbone of the genetic molecule known as RNA and are essential in fueling the bodies immune system. However not all carbs are created equally and based on the options consumed, they can either provide a boost or destroy dental health.

A trip to the store will reveal hundreds of foods that are classified as carbohydrates. Some foods include fruits, breads, pastas, beans, potatoes, whole grains, vegetables, candy and soft drinks. Although they all are carbs, they are not created equally in regards to providing proper nutrition and boosting dental health. As a matter of fact, many processed foods including crackers, cookies and soft drinks are carbohydrates known for contributing to high levels of oral bacteria and subsequently tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. Fortunately there are plenty of great carbohydrates available that are not only delicious, but also nutritiously sound and capable of helping (not harming) dental health thanks to the vitamins packed inside and the lower-sugar nature of the beast.

Nutritious foods are essential to life and various sources indicate that humans should get 45 percent to 75 percent of their diet from the right carbohydrates.  It is important to note that not all of the compounds are created equally and instead of going for the processed foods high in sugar (a favorite treat of oral bacteria), eating the most natural option of the bunch can help stabilize blood glucose, help boost the metabolism as well as deliver plenty of perks for dental health.


Whole Grain Pasta

For thousands of years, pasta has been the staple in the human diet. The predecessor to today's pasta were strips of dough that were fried and layered with other foods such as meat. Overtime, pastas have evolved to feature thousands of shapes and varieties (including white pasta, egg noodles, fresh pasta and coutless shapes), to be boiled in water and has become a staple in many diets. Individuals looking to have their pasta and eat it too are advised to choose options featuring the added benefit of whole grain for dental health and general well being.

For years, white pasta was a cupboard necessity of the American household as the food could be stored for long periods of time and could be prepared quickly. During the food's production cycle into  refined white flour, grains are stripped bare during the manufacturing process and the healthiest part of the ingredients are removed. As a result, when eaten white pasta will cause blood sugar levels to spike, force a metabolism to slow down and can even contribute to weight gain. Plus, after consumed, white pasta will deposit tons of sugars on teeth. That will in turn attract oral bacteria and the dental problems they cause.

Instead, pasta featuring whole grains is a much better choice. The foods are abundant and easily located next to the conventional pastas. Although they may cost a bit more money then white pasta (typically less than a dollar more), whole grain options provide a more powerful nutritional punch courtesy of the entire grain kernel including the healthy bran, germ and endosperm.

Research conducted at the McMaster University in Canada has shown that individuals who ate at least three servings of whole grains a day were able to keep their teeth longer than their processed foods loving counterparts as that consumption was found to lower the odds of periodontitis from developing. Other studies have shown that consuming whole grains can help stabilize blood sugar level; reducing periodontitis in diabetics and others in need.


Snacking is a favorite pastime in the country; as a matter of fact research has indicated that the behavior of grazing on small treats is replacing the conventional approach to "three squares" daily. Grabbing a little nibble between meals can indeed boost energy and attentiveness, but the wrong carb choice can also increase the odds of tooth decay. That is why consumers are advised to put away the chips, doodles and crackers and instead eat popcorn.

Popcorn is an ancient food that can be traced to the indigenous people of North America. A popcorn kernel is naturally hard to keep moisture out, however inside there is a bit of the wet stuff and when heated, it expands from the kernel and POPS! Unlike other snack foods, this one comes straight from the cob and only needs some heat to activate. Once popped, the whole grain snacking option will provide a satisfying distraction from overly processed snacks, plus three grams of fiber. Individuals are encouraged to eat the air popped variety with the slightest hint of salt to get the healthiest version of this treat.


The Right Candy

There is no denying how important fruit is to the human diet, but the reality is, sometimes it just won't satisfy a sweet tooth. Individuals who feel like they must eat candy to brighten their day should consider sucking on a lollipop! Rumor has it sugar laden lollipops made it onto the scene during the Middle Ages. Since that time, the sweet treat has evolved to delivery a powerful tooth decay fighting punch.

The Research and Data Institute has found that preschool children at a high-risk of developing tooth decay were able to curb the growth of the responsible bacteria by enjoying herbal suckers (containing licorice root) made by Dr. John's Candies of Grand Rapids, Michigan ( The organization conducted a study of 66 children aged 2 to 5. Study participants received the specific lollipops "...10 minutes twice daily for three weeks," ( After consumption, the children's saliva was put under the microscope where it was discovered that levels of streptococcus mutans (the bacteria known for contributing to tooth decay) were lowered.

Even those who know what the best carbohydrates are for dental health may choose less superior options for pure enjoyment reasons. In those cases, after eating those foods, drinking a glass of clean, fresh water can help wash away simple sugars deposited behind. Then, brushing teeth thirty minutes after is the best way to remove the rest of the debris, while minimizing the risk of brushing away dental enamel. Individuals looking for more tips on the best carbohydrates for dental health and advice to lower the damage after eating the wrong ones can call 1-800-DENTIST, 24/7 to get the contact name of a skilled dentist willing, ready and able to assist with the task.