Counseling Tips

  1. To reduce cariogenicity 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.
  2. 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.
  3. When oral hygiene does not follow a meal, suggest ending a meal with cheese or milk, chewing gum with xylitol, or rinsing with water.
  4. To stimulate salivary flow, include cool, sour, or tart nutrient dense foods (sugar free), increase water intake, and suck on sugar free mints.
  5. Incorporate low-fat, calcium rich foods in the diet, spaced throughout the day for the best absorption rate.
  6. When reading a food label, don’t forget to look at the serving size and multiply accordingly.
  7. Resources for patient education:

• www.ada.org/public/topics/diet.asp (American Dental Association)

• www.aafp.org (American Academy of Family Physicians)

• www.eatright.org (American Dietetic Association)

• www.osteo.org (NIH resource center on osteoporosis)

• www.vrg.org (vegetarian resource group)