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Diet and Your Oral Health: How the Food That You Eat Can Affect Your Teeth

Most people are familiar with that old adage, ‘you are what you eat’. However, when most people hear the phrase, they instantly think of weight or of fitness levels, rather than considering the effects of certain foods on their teeth.

These days, the focus is more pronounced than ever on dieting and improving physique, without giving the same levels of attention to dental health and hygiene. The fact is that there are some foods that have a hugely detrimental effect on the teeth, and if your mouth is continually exposed to them, it’s likely that you’ll soon start to notice the consequences.

What Sort of Problems Can Food Cause Your Teeth?

The most common problem is tooth decay, and this is related to the consumption of sugar. The term ‘tooth decay’ refers to the process of acids in the sugar coming into contact with the surface of your teeth (the enamel), causing them to break down as a result. Tooth decay is also closely associated with gum disease, which is caused by poor nutrition and is a significant cause of tooth loss.

What Sort of Foods Should You Be Avoiding?

Quite simply, any foods or drinks that contain sugar can be potentially damaging for your teeth. This not only includes foods such as chocolate, biscuits and sugary fizzy drinks, but also more surprising foods, such as fruit and certain breakfast cereals.

It seems counter-intuitive to advise not to eat too much fruit (after all, it also has a lot of health benefits), however, it is a good idea to not eat too much fruit, and to clean the teeth about half an hour after consuming fruit, in order to remove some of the harmful sugars coming into contact with the teeth.

If in doubt, read the food label, which will give you a clearer idea as to how much sugar is within the product.

What Should You Be Eating, In Order to Maintain Healthy Teeth?

A golden rule to remember is to drink lots of water. Water not only helps with hydration and digestion, but also helps remove sugar from the teeth.

Vegetables, lean meats and fish, beans, legumes and dairy products are all relatively fine when it comes to the health of your teeth. Aim to limit fruit somewhat, but don’t feel the need to cut it entirely.

Snacking isn’t great for your teeth, but if you do need an energy pick-me-up during the day, then aim for something low in sugar, such as carrot sticks, a handful of nuts and seeds, or cheese and crackers.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups to Maintain Healthy Teeth

Above all else, it is vital to ensure that you book regular check-ups with a qualified local dentist. Your dentist will not only check your teeth to ensure that there is no evidence of tooth decay, but will be able to treat any decay that has already occurred, ensuring that you enjoy good oral health.

To speak to a qualified dentist in Ireland, simply talk to Guiney Dental (based in Ballincollig, Cork) by calling 021 - 481 0535 today.

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