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Eating Habits Affecting Your Dental Health

Posted by Paul on 15. April 2019
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Nutritional Guidelines


According to The Eatwell Guide, you should consume at least five portions of fruit and vegetables, dairy or low fat/ low sugar replacements for dairy and a protein such as fish, eggs, meat or beans daily. Meals should be based around wholegrain potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, and other carbohydrates. For optimum health also drink six to eight glasses of water or fluids each day.


Consuming a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups is essential for your overall wellness and promotes healthy teeth and gums.


Diet and Tooth Decay


The food and beverages you consume have direct contact with your teeth. This means every food choice you make can impact your oral health. Sugary and processed foods and drinks have a high acidity level which slowly eats away at your tooth enamel resulting in tooth decay and cavities.


The form of foods such as a solid, liquid, or sticky can have different effects on your teeth. The slower it is to dissolve the longer the impact on your teeth. The order and combination of how you eat your foods during a meal can also make a difference in your oral health. Drinking water in between bites is important as it can wash away some of the acids that may already be attacking your teeth.


A well-balanced diet full of calcium can contain tooth-friendly nutrients which makes them stronger and less likely to decay in the future. Healthy eating and drinking can reduce enamel erosion to keep your smile beautiful and long-lasting.


How Snacks Affect Dental Health


Often foods that we intake as a meal is always harmless to the teeth, than the snacks that we consume throughout the day.This is because more saliva is released and produced during a meal. Saliva helps to rinse the effects of acid off your teeth, which prevents tooth decay and cavities.


If you wish to snack stick to nutritious foods that stimulate saliva production or foods that are high in calcium to make your teeth stronger. Some great snack choices include cheese, nuts, plain yogurt, raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, or lean sources of protein.


Also, drink water while you snack to wash away the food particles that can remain on your teeth.


Harmful Foods for Dental Health


Certain foods can negatively impact your dental health.


Sticky and sweet foods can cause plaque to stick on to teeth. The sticky quality of these can be hard to wash away from your enamel by drinking water and your saliva. This can cause the acids to attack your teeth constantly until you can brush. These constant attacks on your teeth break down enamel faster.


Starch filled foods can get trapped between your teeth causing damage to enamel and gum tissue. These foods require flossing to fully remove the food debris and harmful plaque trapped between your teeth. Some examples of these foods are potato chips or soft bread.


Any foods that cause your mouth to dry out can also have adverse effects on your oral health. Lack of saliva production causes plaque and acids to remain on your teeth for longer amounts of time. The longer these acids and plaque stay on your teeth, the more damage they can do.


Beneficial Foods for Dental Health


Dairy products are excellent for your dental health. Cheese produces saliva that helps wash away plaque. Cheese also helps to neutralise pH levels in your mouth slowing the effects of acid erosion on your tooth enamel. The calcium in dairy products also contributes to remineralising your teeth.


Raw fruits and vegetables can help keep teeth and gums clean by stimulating saliva and removing surface stains and plaque from your teeth. Leafy greens are high in calcium, but they also contain vitamin B which helps prevent gum disease in pregnant women.


Celery is a natural source of vitamins A and C which help boost your gum tissue health. It also acts as a natural toothbrush as it scrapes your teeth as you consume it.


Another great food for your teeth is almonds because they have high levels of protein and calcium with low levels of sugar.


Foods with fluoride can help strengthen and protect your teeth. Poultry and seafood products, powdered cereals, and dehydrated soups are all examples of foods that can naturally contain fluoride.


The polyphenols found in green and black tea can slow bacteria growth in your mouth and reduces the size and stickiness of plaque. Black tea can also fight bad breath because the polyphenols suppress the smelly

compounds found in the mouth.

Sugar and Dental Health


Sugar attaches itself to your teeth and slowly attacks your enamel. It can eat a hole in your enamel which can form a cavity. If a cavity forms, you will have to see a dentist in Milton Keynesto get it filled. Your dentist or hygienist can also professionally clean your teeth to remove stubborn plaque and tartar.


Natural sugars found in fruits are healthier than sugars in processed foods. However, these sugars should also be consumed in moderation.


Carbonated soft drinks are the leading source of cavities and tooth erosion caused by sugar. The citric acid causes the sugars to stick to your teeth more than usual. Constantly sipping a carbonated beverage will cause acid attacks on your teeth to occur more frequently and not give the saliva in your mouth time to wash them away.


Sugar Substitutes for Dental Health

Sugar substitutes can look and taste like sugar, and they don’t contain decay-causing acids that can harm teeth. These can be considered a safer alternative to regular sugars when it comes to your oral health.


Pop a stick of sugarless gum in your mouth after eating. Chewing boosts saliva production and the xylitol in the gum is non-fermentable, so the bacteria in your mouth cannot convert it to acid.


How to Reduce Risk of Cavities


Eating a well-balanced diet and reducing your sugar intake can help to lessen your chances of getting a cavity. Drinking water while you eat something filled with sugar can help wash away the acids attacking your enamel. Lastly, brushing and flossing after you have consumed sugar is your best defence at preventing cavities.


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