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Care and Advice

The Dental Diet

When it comes to your health, in all aspects, what you eat is crucial and it’s one of the keys to staying fit, healthy and well throughout life. This is no different for your overall dental health. A good balanced diet means a healthy mouth, good gums and bright white teeth.

When we think about our teeth and mouth, we don’t usually consider the dynamic environment our teeth are in. Your teeth and mouth are subject to regular PH changes from acid to alkaline, quick temperature changes, strong forces when you’re eating, which can be incredibly tough to incredibly sticky. Your teeth are exposed to so many external factors that cause damage yet we can ignore the effects of what we are putting into our mouths and inherently our body. It is the reason why we need to be aware of good dental diet.

How do holes form?

Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly and continuously forming on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. This results in a break in the tooth structure forming cavities. If you have something already acidic like fizzy pop, then you have bypassed the bacteria and are causing damage directly to your teeth.

So what’s full of Sugar and what’s acidic?

There are three main groups of compounds we ingest. Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates. We sometimes focus on these two because it is either helping you build muscle or because you’re trying to slim down and cutting fats. But the carbohydrates which form a substantial part of our diets including things like bread and potatoes. Carbohydrates consist of three sub-groups of which we are all most familiar with sugar. We can have carbohydrates that benefit us but the simple carbohydrates that we enjoy, do not provide us with as many benefits yet cause considerable detriment to your health.

To help gauge what has sugar and acids some examples are found below.

Sweet Acidic
Chocolate Soft drinks
Fruits Fruit juices
Tomato ketchup Vinegar
Cake Wine
Biscuits Sports drinks
Crisps Energy drinks
Cream Fruits
Spagetti sauce Coffee
Candy Alcohol
Fruit juice Pickles

If you would like to find out your own risks, get in touch and I can definitely help.

If sugars and acids cause cavities what can be done to help stop this?

Top Tips:

  • Limit acid and sugar – Keep this intake to your main meals and do not snack between meals. This will allow the teeth time to recover between the damaging effects of eating foods and drinks. If you start snacking the recovery time of your teeth is much reduced and so giving opportunity for holes to start forming.
  • Washing the sugars away and diluting the acids – By simply drinking and swirling water regularly through the day you can keep your mouth cleansed and reduce the impact of the acids on your Remember after meals rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash can work even better.
  • Diary – If you can tolerate dairy, then this can be incorporated into your diet to help neutralise the effects of those damaging acids. So think about pairing things together like fruit and yoghurt or wine and cheese.
  • Brushing your teeth – This goes without saying BUT it is VERY important that you do not brush within 45 minutes of eating sugars and acids. Imagine if you just ate an orange, the citric acids from the fruit are fresh on your teeth; So if you brush straight after, you’re actually brushing the acid into the This is damaging. So brush when it is safe to do so.
  • Straws – Drink any acidic drink like fruit juices, smoothies, soft drinks through a straw, so there is minimal contact of the teeth with the acids.
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Priors Hall Dental

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4 Holland Square, Hampstead Road, NN17 5GT

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Monday - Thursday: 8am – 8pm

Friday: 9am - 3pm

Weekends & Evenings: by appointment only

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