Nutrition plays an important role in maintaining oral and overall health.
We all know that the foods we choose to eat have an important effect on our overall health. Well, when it comes to oral health, it’s no different. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in whole, unprocessed foods, and low in sugary treats can go a long way in maintaining strong teeth and gums in the long term. There are a few foods and drinks that are best avoided — or at least enjoyed in moderation only — read on to find out what they are…
Although dried fruit is often chosen as a healthy snack, the types that are particularly sticky can get stuck in the teeth, leaving sugar to form plaque. If you eat dried fruit like raisins and prunes, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards. If you can, brush and floss your teeth after snacking so that you can get rid of leftover particles in your mouth. Although it’s fine to enjoy the snack from time to time, try and stick to fresh fruits as much you can as they contain less concentrated sugar and have a higher water content.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits, tend to be quite acidic. This means that they can erode the enamel of the teeth, making them susceptible to decay. The acid content of these fruits can also be problematic if you have mouth sores as they can cause irritation and discomfort. Citrus fruits do contain loads of nutrients though, so if you do eat or drink them every now and then, do so as part of a meal and then rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
It’s no secret that sugary treats are not good for us, but sour, sticky and hard candies, in particular, are particularly detrimental to our oral health. Sour candy is highly acidic and can cause damage to the enamel of the teeth, while sticky candy like toffee often gets stuck in between the teeth. Hard candy generally takes a while to eat, exposing the teeth to sugar and acids for long periods of time and increasing the risk of tooth decay. If you need your fix of sweetness, opt for a treat like a small piece of chocolate, which can be eaten quickly and easily rinsed away with a drink of water.
Many carbonated drinks contain a large amount of sugar and can cause some serious damage to the teeth. But even soda that doesn’t contain sugar is very acidic and causes the enamel of the teeth to wear down. It also tends to cause stains and discolouration, particularly if you opt for dark-coloured drinks like cola.
How can we help?
At Dental Pearls, we offer a comprehensive range of dental services and love to keep our patients informed when it comes to maintaining optimal oral health. We encourage all of our patients to come in and see us for a check-up and clean every six months so that we can help to minimise dental disease. As part of our preventative dentistry services, we provide education and counselling, as well as demonstrations and encouragement on how best to maintain a healthy mouth.
If you would like to make an appointment to see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.