Insider Tips to Dental Health – Part 1

Your teeth are with you for life, so it makes sense to give them a high priority.

While serving the essential function of allowing you to eat a wide range of foods they are also centre stage when you smile. In the hectic life that we lead, we may take our teeth for granted and even neglect them – until something goes wrong.

Diet and dental healthWith your help, your teeth can survive as long as you. So make a pact with your teeth – guard them against the predators that can harm them, and they’ll remain loyal to you.

Your diet is the key to reducing cavities

Diet is so much more that your waistline’s concern. The hidden ingredients in food and drinks can also damage the dentine on your teeth, coat your teeth in a film of bacteria-attracting sugars and pave the way for decay and disease.

Tooth decay is prevalent in western cultures where our processed foods and drinks contain many additives in the interest of making them appealing.

Just look at some of the remote communities in the world, such as some regions of China where sugar has not infiltrated their diets. While they do not have toothbrushes either, their teeth are free of cavities.

Diet and Dental Health Tip #1: Eliminate sugary drinks

Flavoured drinks can be deceptive. While softdrinks are a known high-sugar thirst quencher, other drinks such as energy drinks and fruit juice also contain sugars that can attract harmful bacteria.

The danger of these drinks is that they are often consumed between meals thereby leaving their harmful sugars wrapped around your teeth for long periods. Bacteria are then attracted to feed off these sugars and the tooth-decay process begins.

The most sure-fire way to stop the damage is to not consume these kinds of drinks – replace them with good, old-fashioned water. However, if you must drink them you can reduce the harm but rinsing your mouth with a good swish of water afterwards.

Diet and Dental Health Tip #2: Minimise foods containing sugar

Sweets are a delectable treat! But not just for you – they are a favourite for bacteria that can eat away at your teeth.

Sugary and soft drinks are a dental predatorAs difficult as it may be for a ‘sweet tooth’ to say NO to sweets, try to minimise eating snacks like sticky lollies, chocolate and candied nuts.  The biggest danger is nibbling on sweet lollies over the course of a whole day – this gives the bacteria an even longer chance to really ‘dig in’. Chances are that you won’t brush your teeth until just before you go to bed.

When you’re offered a sweet, take another look at it and imagine your teeth pleading with you to refuse. The less sticky, sweet, sugary snacks you eat could add years of life to your teeth.

Diet and Dental Health Tip #3: Acids that erode your teeth

You may think that acid is something scientists use in a laboratory, or painters use to strip back old doors. But acids in various forms are contained in many of the food and drinks we consume. Our bodies also produce some acids naturally.

While acid is not likely to cause decay, it can be harmful to our teeth in other ways. The acid makes the teeth softer so that brushing too hard or eating can wear away the enamel.

Acidic Drinks: Cola drinks and soft drinks, wine and the popular sports and energy drinks are the biggest culprits here.

It has been known that long-term consumers of these kinds of drinks can have their teeth worn back over time so that they look like stumps. Not a pretty sight!

So whenever possible, avoid these drinks or at least reduce your reliance on them. However if you are going to drink them, rinse your mouth vigourously with water afterwards. If you drink wine, order a glass of water to go with it and alternate your sips.

Natural acids: Stomach acids have their purpose in breaking down food for digestion. Yet sometimes they have a way of re-appearing, especially if you suffer from morning sickness or reflux.

While we are unable to solve these problems for women in early pregnancy – we can suggest two things you can do to avoid the knock-on dental problems; rinse your mouth with water (or a non-alcohol mouth wash) afterwards, and consult your doctor about ways to lessen the symptoms.

If you are concerned about the effect your diet might be impacting your dental health book a consultation with us on (08) 8346 3940. At your dental check up we can discuss your situation and factors that might be contributing to any decay you may have.

Check out Part 2 of our Insider Tips to Dental Health.