Diet and decay

Diet is the key to controlling tooth decay!

In addition to the general health benefits, a healthy balanced diet will significantly contribute to the health of your teeth and gums. When you consume sugary or starchy foods and beverages, the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth produces acid that attacks tooth enamel. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional sugary beverage, but the dentists at justSMILE in Ramsgate would suggest, for the health of your teeth, drinking sugary drinks through a straw.

Many of our favourite foods can cause us the greatest problems.

Foods like lollies, chocolate, cakes and soft drinks are the biggest causes of tooth decay. Your body’s natural defence to this acid is saliva, which is why chewing sugar-free gum, rinsing your mouth with water and limiting your frequency of sweet and starchy foods is effective in preventing dental problems caused by your diet choices.

There are many foods that are good for your teeth and your health…

Some foods invite tooth decay, other foods help fight plaque build-up. Some of the foods that help fight plaque build-up are:

  • Cheese, milk, plain yoghurt and other dairy products
    The calcium in these products and the phosphates in milk and other dairy products help to replace minerals in your teeth. Also cheese is good because it generates saliva.
  • Green and black teas
    Green and black tea contains polyphenols which interact with plaque bacteria. Polyphenols can either kill or suppress bacteria therefore preventing them from growing or producing tooth-attacking acids.
  • Fruits and Vegetables that are rich in fibre
    Did you know that foods with fibre can act like a detergent in your mouth?
    These foods also stimulate saliva flow, which is useful for your health because saliva contains traces of calcium and phosphate, also it restores minerals to areas of teeth.
  • Sugar-free chewing gum
    As we’ve already said, chewing gum is a great way to produce saliva, to remove food particles from your mouth.

Your diet and your lifestyle can affect your oral health. Maintaining good oral hygiene is about more than just brushing and flossing daily, watching what you eat and regular dental check-ups. All of these things are important, but what are just as important are your lifestyle choices. For example: using your teeth like a bottle opener or like pair of scissors is not good for your teeth, your gums or your jaw. Using your teeth as a tool can cause nerve damage and chip, crack or break your teeth.