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Healthy Teeth and How Diet Affects This

18/08/2013

Having cavities in your mouth can dramatically change your life, and as with most things, prevention is far better than a cure.  In this article I will run you through a couple of things that will ensure that you remain with good oral health, and how a healthy diet can affect this.   You may not realise this, but poor diet is arguably the biggest contributor towards cavities in your mouth.

Instant Changes

What many people don’t realise is that the moment food enters your mouth, changes start to occur. Almost instantly the bacteria that resides in your mouth starts converting the sugars that you have just ingested into acids. These acids then begin to attack your tooth enamel, which is going to cause them to decay.  And the more you eat, the more exposure to these acids you are giving your teeth, and the more they are going to decay.

What should I eat?

There are a number of foods out there which are actually known to help combat decay within your mouth. These include cheese, chicken, nuts and milk, and the reason for this is that they contain ample amounts of calcium and phosphorus.  Both of these minerals are needed to help revitalise your teeth after they have been attacked by acids, so make sure you include them in your diet.  Similarly, drinking plenty of water will help keep your mouth healthy.

Here’s a small selection of suggested foods that you should eat to improve dental health.

  1. Apples, Carrots and Celery. These crunchy fruits are absolutely fantastic for your dental health. This is because the crunchiness helps to create a flow of saliva in your mouth, which gives it a good rinse. Any crunchy fruit and vegetable should be good, but as with anything, but sure you eat in moderation.
  2. Cheese and Milk help to reduce the amount of acid that is residing in your mouth.  The sugar in these products does not contribute to tooth decay in the slightest.
  3. Water helps to cleanse your teeth. So every so often, wash your mouth out with water.  Don’t forget to brush and use mouthwash in between meals as well in order to neutralise all of that pesky acid.

What food should I avoid?

Any foods that contain high amounts of sugar are a no-no if you’re concerned about your dental hygiene. Remember, the more sugar in the food, the more chance it has of sticking to your tooth and causing the bacteria to thrive.  In addition to this, the more you eat, the more sugar is going to reside on the tooth enamel. Foods that are safe to eat include those that have natural sugars, so you shouldn’t have too many problems with fruit and honey.  Drinks that you will want to avoid include soft drinks, coffee and sweetened tea.

Regular Brushing

No matter what you eat, the chances of tooth decay are reduced significantly through regular brushing and the use of mouthwash.  Even foods that you may think aren’t very harmful can cause damage if they sit in between your teeth for too long.  Regular brushing, flossing and using mouthwash (take care not to over brush) will ensure your mouth is kept as healthy as it possibly can be.

Using a Food Diary

Something we often recommend is the use of a food diary.  Over the course of three days you should record everything that you eat, and we’ll then discuss this with you at our Docklands dental surgery.  Together we can calculate how much sugar you are consuming, and how it can be reduced.

We hope to educate London about dental hygiene through this blog and promote the benefits of excellent oral health. Trips to the dentist don’t have to be all about tooth whitening or teeth straightening, despite what the cosmetics industry and magazines tell you. A simple check up can prevent more serious problems that will plague you in the years to come and give you great peace of mind.   If you’re looking for a dentist in London, in or around the Docklands or Canary Wharf area, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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