The AtkinsTM diet has received enormous publicity due to its controversial approach and widely reported successes. Many traditional diets recommend low fat foods, but do not limit most carbohydrates. The Atkins diet does just the opposite -- allowing foods high in fat and protein, but severely restricting carbohydrates. Recent research, although preliminary, has shown that the Atkins diet is highly effective for weight loss, lowers total cholesterol, and increases HDL (good) cholesterol. A hidden benefit of the Atkins diet is that it is also good for dental health.
Dental cavities are an infection caused by a combination of carbohydrate-containing foods and beverages and bacteria that live in our mouths. The bacteria are contained in a film called plaque that continuously forms on and around the teeth. When these bacteria find carbohydrates, they digest them and produce acid. The acid then begins to dissolve the hard enamel that forms the outer coating of the teeth, forming a cavity. The Atkins diet is very low in carbohydrates, so many of the foods and beverages that promote tooth decay are not permitted.
The diet does not allow sugar, most fruits, bread, pasta, sweetened soda, candy and many other teeth damaging, carbohydrate-containing items. Foods high in fat and protein do not contribute to tooth decay, and certain foods permitted on the diet such as cheese and nuts may actually help prevent cavities.
Those who do not want or need to go on the Atkins diet should still consider limiting carbohydrate-containing foods and beverages, especially those high in sugar, to help prevent cavities. Please remember that even if you avoid or limit carbohydrates, you will not become immune to all dental problems. Regardless of what you eat, teeth can still break, become infected, and are susceptible to gum disease.
The easiest way to prevent cavities, gum disease and other dental problems is by brushing teeth at least three times a day, especially after eating and before bed. Flossing at least once a day is important to remove plaque between your teeth. To further reduce the incidence of cavities, you can use toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride. It is important to visit the dentist at least twice a year for professional dental cleanings and dental exams. The Atkins diet may prove very effective not only for weight loss and improving general health, but also for helping prevent tooth decay.
Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.