- Continuing Education
When diet changes are indicated, keep it simple. Make small changes, and let the patient choose one or two goals to practice between dental appointments. As a clinician, be aware of patient’s cultural influence, education, current health status, and any financial restrictions that may inhibit food selection.
To reduce carcinogenicity of the diet, for adults suggest limiting eating events to three times a day with no more than two between meal snacks and eliminating highly retentive foods such as crackers, chips, and soft candies.
For children who need the energy provided by between meal snacks, they should be healthy food choices low in cariogenic potential such as cheese, raw vegetables, meat roll-ups, and fresh fruit.
When oral hygiene does not follow a meal, suggest ending a meal with cheese or milk, chewing gum with xylitol, or rinsing with water to raise salivary pH back to neutral (7.0.)
To stimulate salivary production, include cool, sour, or tart nutrient dense foods (sugar free), increase water intake.
Incorporate low-fat, calcium rich foods in the diet, spaced throughout the day for remineralization properties.
Avoid diet soda, which contains acids that may demineralize the tooth surface independent of biofilm acid production.
Resources for patient education: