Individuals are aware of the importance of a proper diet in maintaining personal health. It is also important for individuals to realize that diet plays an important role in preventing dental disease, such as caries and periodontal disease. Because of this importance, a dental hygienist should discuss diet with patients. The hygienist should discuss the need to maintain a food diary for several days. This will allow the patient and hygienist an opportunity to evaluate the health of the diet. A recent food diary revealed several aspects about the personal diet.
On average, the diary revealed a well-balanced diet. However, there were several areas that could be improved upon significantly. It is important for a person to realize that weekends and holidays do count. Caries do not take days off in development! The diary indicated that three glasses of red wine were consumed on both Friday and Saturday. Wine does have corrosive capability. For this reason, it should be limited (Gray, Ferguson, & Wall, 1998, p. 33). An individual may consider utilizing sugarless gum between glasses of wine to reduce the acids in the mouth.
The food diary also indicates that it does not meet the suggested servings of the food guide pyramid. There is a significant difference specifically in the milk, yogurt and cheese category (My plate, n.d.). These are particularly important because they provide calcium, a necessary nutrient for dental health. There was adequate consumption on average of meats, poultry and fish. These foods are good for the teeth because they are not soft on average.
There was inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables. This is particularly worrisome because of the importance of fruits and vegetables to maintain overall health. However, it was good that the diary indicated that fruits were consumed rather than fruit juices.
What was concerning was the incidence of skipping meals. This is not adequate for any diet. Meals were skipped on Sunday and Monday. If the meals were not skipped, greater nutrients would be consumed. The difference between consumed servings and recommended servings of fruit would not be as great.
- Gray, A., Ferguson, M. M., & Wall, J. G. (1998). Wine tasting and dental erosion. Case report. Australian dental journal, 43(1), 32-34.
- My plate. (n.d.). United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/