How And What We Eat Affects Our Oral Health

Eating a well balanced diet is not only important for our general health but also for our teeth. Limiting the in- take of sugary foods prevents obesity which is well publicised but also keeps our teeth healthy as well. Eating too many sugary snacks can lead to tooth decay which in turn can cause infection and tooth loss.

How Do Your Teeth Decay?

Bacteria is present in all our mouths and feed on sugars in the food. The bacteria change the sugar into acids. These acids are strong enough to dissolve the protective enamel on your teeth which in turn can lead to cavities. Pain may be experienced if the enamel is worn away which exposes the sensitive inner layers of the teeth. Frequently snacking on sugary food and drinks throughout the day exposes your teeth to acid attacks frequently. Acidic foods and beverages also exacerbate the problem causing a double acid attack on the teeth.

Snack With Care

The important part of oral health is preventing enamel loss. Choosing nutritious snacks and limiting sugary intakes can protect your teeth from acid attack. Some sweets are worse for your teeth than others. Sticky, chewy foods stay on our teeth for longer, increasing the risk of enamel erosion. Choose drinks that are low in acid such as milk and water. Soft drinks, diet drinks and sports energy drinks are high in acid. Using straws also helps limit how much your teeth are exposed to the sugar and acid in the drink. Are you really giving your kids a treat if you give them these drinks?

Frequency of Snacking

How often we snack can also have a major impact on our teeth. Nibbling sugary snacks often is harder on the teeth than a dessert after dinner. Every time you eat a sugary snack, even just a little at a time, the bacteria produce damaging acids in your mouth. Therefore there is greater opportunity for tooth decay to occur. It is therefore best to eat sugary foods after a meal instead of multiple times between meals. Avoid slowly nibbling or sipping sugary or acidic foods over a long period.

Brushing Teeth

This helps clean out the sugar and acid left from the food and beverages, reducing the chance of tooth decay. Avoid drinking sugary or acidic beverages before bed; the liquid can coat your teeth with sugar and acid and attack the enamel while you sleep. So when choosing snacks think of the frequency you consume them, how long they stay in your mouth and the texture. Look for snacks that are low in sugar and fat; avoid sugary drinks between meals and brush your teeth 30 minutes after eating.

Choosing the right foods is not only good for your body and oral health, its also good for your teeth. For further advice please call the Mayhill Dental centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk .

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