Oral Health

Oral Health

How your diet affects your Oral health

The foods you eat and how often you eat them can affect your oral health – the health of your teeth and gums. If you consume too many sugar-filled drinks or non-nutritious snacks, you could be at risk of tooth decay. Decay occurs when plaque encounters sugar in the mouth causing acid to attack the teeth. Tooth decay is directly related to the presence of sucrose ( cane sugar ).

In lay terms you can roughly say that every time you had any amount of sugar in any form, be it in a drink, sweet or snack, it takes about 60 minutes ( 1 hour ) for your mouth’s saliva to neutralize its effect.

It’s not only what you eat that counts

For healthy teeth and gums, think before you eat and drink. It’s not only what you eat but when you eat that can affect your oral health. For e.g: since your saliva production is only 10% when you sleep, you should avoid eating or drinking for the last hour before you go to sleep.

Tips for Good Oral Heath | When Choosing your daily meals …

• Drink plenty of water.
• Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
o whole grains
o fruits
o vegetables
o lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes
o low-fat and fat-free dairy foods

Limit the number of snacks you consume during the day and choose healthy options such as fruit or vegetables. Foods eaten during a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day as more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and decreases the effects of acids which results in cavities.

For good oral health, always brush twice a day, floss daily and see your dentist for regular check-ups. With regular dental care, your dentist can help prevent oral problems from occurring and catch those that do occur in the early stages, while they are easy to treat.

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Dr J. Francois Coetzee Dental Surgeon
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