Most people know that neglecting their toothbrush can harm their teeth, but have you ever thought about how the foods you eat affect your oral health?
Diet is actually a really important factor when it comes to the teeth and gums and it’s advisable to learn which foods are good and bad for your teeth.
Eating a healthy diet, sticking to a good daily oral hygiene regime at home and seeing a dentist, , every 6-9 months are really effective ways of keeping your dental health in check.
If you’re eager to keep dental disease firmly at bay, here are some foods to avoid and some tips to help you enjoy your favourite foods without damaging your teeth:
Which foods are bad for the teeth?
1.Cakes, biscuits and chocolate
Sadly, many of our favourite treats such as cakes, biscuits and chocolate bars are bad news for oral health as they are packed with sugar, which contributes to dental decay.
If you do have a sweet tooth, try to limit your intake to small portions as a treat and find healthier ways of creating your favourites at home. You could try using sugar-free baking recipes for cookies, muffins and scones, for example.
2. Fizzy drinks
Consumption of fizzy pop is at an all-time high and this is one of the main reasons why decay is so prevalent, especially among children and teenagers. Pop is not just full of sugar, but it’s also acidic, and the acid continues to erode the protective enamel coating.
If you do enjoy fizzy drinks, try to cut down and choose healthier alternatives such as milk, water and sugar-free cordial. If you’re having a fizzy drink as a treat, use a straw so that the fluid doesn’t come into direct contact with your teeth and avoid swilling it around your mouth.
Apples are really good for you, but they are acidic and they do contain natural sugars, which can be bad for your teeth. If you enjoy eating apples, try to cut them up, rather than biting directly into them and eat them at mealtimes only.
It’s also a good idea to follow an apple with a glass of milk or water to neutralise the acids in your mouth.
Many of us enjoy sweets and candy, but these are among the worst offenders when it comes to decay. Limit sweets to weekly treats and always eat them after a meal, rather than between meals.
When you eat, the enamel is softened temporarily and if you eat sugary foods between meals, the enamel never has chance to recover and harden again.
Try to avoid chewy sweets, as they tend to get stuck in the pits of the tooth surfaces, between the teeth and along the gum line.
If you’re on a health kick, you’ll probably be shocked and disappointed to see this on the list. However, the truth is that shop-bought smoothies tend to be laden with sugar.
Smoothies are essentially really good for you, but always make your own at home, as then you have complete control of what goes into them. Check nutritional labels if you are buying a smoothie in a café or supermarket.
Crisps are up there on the list of the nation’s favourite snacks, but they can spell bad news for the teeth. Crisps are starchy and they are broken down into sugars.
They also tend to get stuck in the teeth and this increases the risk of plaque forming. Try to stick to eating at mealtimes and remember to brush your teeth at least 45-60 minutes after eating to give your enamel chance to remineralise.