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Health Devotional


Diet and the Dentist

Thursday, June 8, 2023
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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Prov. 22:6.

The most prevalent disease in the world is dental caries. Ninety-five percent of the world's adult population, more than 5 billion people, have cavities. Fortunately, this epidemic is coming to an end. The good news is that we can now control the disease in both children and adults. Today most school-age children in developed countries are caries-free, reflecting a more than 50 percent reduction in caries among the young. A study of Swedish mothers and their children showed that if we could control the disease in a mother, her children might never develop it. Early behaviors can have a lifelong influence!

It is not natural for humans to have cavities. Contrary to popular belief, caries is an infectious disease, caused by a specific type of bacteria, the mutans group of Streptococci. Your dentist can now test to see if you are highly infected, and if so, he or she can prescribe a mouth rinse that can reduce those bacteria to acceptable levels.

Frequent sucrose (table sugar) consumption tends to encourage the growth of this type of bacteria. Limiting sugar intake between meals can greatly reduce the risk of caries. Teaching children good eating practices will enhance their oral health as well as their overall health throughout their whole lives.

The body fights cavities. Your saliva has everything needed to heal early cavities and, when provided with very small amounts of fluoride, such as through daily brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste, will remineralize the cavities as they initially form.

Body fluids containing antibodies to fight disease cleanse your teeth from the inside out. The quality of your diet affects this natural cleansing action.

God created the mouth to be healthy. Harmful bacteria can enter the mouth only from other people, and the only other persons sufficiently intimate to infect extremely young children are their parents. Reducing bacterial infection in the mother and father protects the infant from early infection and allows natural protective mechanisms to develop to save the child from the threat of disease.

Are you helping or hindering your body in its natural fight against the infectious disease of dental caries?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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