Fast Food and Your Teeth

In today’s hectic society, finding time to sit and eat a home-cooked meal three times a day can be difficult. You may be too rushed to eat breakfast before you fly out the door on your way to work. Stopping at a fast-food restaurant for a quick breakfast may seem like a good idea when your stomach is screaming at you for sustenance.  The same can be said for lunch if you do not bring food from home to sustain you in the middle of the day. While not eating is definitely a bad idea, eating unhealthily is almost as bad. Lafayette dentist Dr. Michael Young explains how a diet of fast food can help destroy your oral health.

Would You Like Fries with That?

When you think of a hamburger and fries, sugar may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind. Many fast-food chain French fries, however, include sugary solutions as additives to enhance their flavor. Even if you skimp on the fries, the meal still contains an incredible amount carbohydrates. When bacteria in your mouth come in contact with sugars, starches, and carbs, they produce lactic acid, which is excreted over the surface of your teeth. Acid attacks your tooth enamel and robs your tooth of essential minerals. Among these minerals are calcium and phosphate, which your tooth enamel needs to become strong again. Weakened enamel forms tiny holes, which offer sanctuary to bacteria and grow as attacks continue. When the enamel is compromised, bacteria have access to your inner tooth structure to attack and cause tooth decay.

Depriving Your Tooth

A meal from the drive-through window can leave you pleasantly satisfied, but it’s more for the taste than from any healthy nourishment. While high in fat, sugar, carbs, and cholesterol, fast food choices rarely contain any of the myriad other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients our bodies need to function properly. Your teeth require certain minerals, like calcium and phosphate, which the human body does not produce naturally. These minerals must be obtained from our food. When your diet does not contain adequate amounts of these essential nutrients, your oral health will soon begin to suffer.

To avoid the need for the drive-through, plan your meals a day ahead. Waking up a little earlier every morning can afford you the time to eat breakfast before leaving. Many people take leftovers from dinner to eat as lunch the next day at work, saving time, money, and your teeth. If you are in or near the 70508 area and would like to know more about nutrition and your oral health, call our Lafayette dental office at (337) 237-6453 to schedule an appointment with your Lafayette dentist.