Contributed by: NAPSA
(NAPSA) - It may come as a surprise to some but an apple a day can keep the dentist away-if you munch quickly. Researchers at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston say how you eat, rather than what you eat, affects oral health most.
For example, slowly sipping soda or juice all day could be worse than eating a candy bar, because the longer sugar stays in contact with teeth, the greater the risk for dental caries.
Tooth decay starts when bacteria, which live in plaque on teeth, feed off the carbohydrates in food and produce acid in the mouth, which erodes the tooth enamel and causes dental caries.
Foods high in carbohydrates (baked goods and candy) or acid (soda, citrus fruits and fruit juices) present the greatest risk to dental health. There are a number of low-acid nutrients that reduce the risk of a particular food; such as protein, fat, phosphorous, and calcium. These low-acid nutrients prevent acid build-up in the mouth, resulting in less tooth decay. Foods such as milk and nuts are "low-risk" foods, not only because they are low in sugar and high in protein, calcium and phosphorous, but because of their non-sticky texture.
"Munch on snacks that are less tooth decay-promoting like low-fat cheeses, raw vegetables, crunchy fruits, popcorn, nuts, and artificially-sweetened beverages," suggests Carole A. Palmer, Ed.D., R.D., associate professor and co-chair of Nutrition and Preventive Dentistry at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.
Tufts Dental School experts offer this advice:
Although these dental health findings do not change whether "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," they should affect the way people eat apples.
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