Is Your Diet Ruining Your Teeth?
It’s no secret that good oral hygiene is one of the most effective ways to stave off decay. But even if you brush and floss religiously, a bad diet could undo all your hard work. Certain foods are harmful for our teeth and eating them regularly could increase your risk of oral disease. Here’s some expert advice to help keep that smile of yours happy and healthy!
Step away from the sugar
Sugar is detrimental for our teeth and gums. When we eat foods with a high sugar content, the sugar reacts with bacteria present in plaque and this can lead to decay. When sugar and bacteria meet, harmful plaque acids are formed and these attack the protective tooth enamel, exposing the dentin and making it vulnerable to acid attack. Acid attacks weaken the enamel for around one hour, so if you graze on sugary snacks throughout the day, your teeth don’t get a chance to recover.
The worst offenders: Sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate and fizzy drinks.
As we’ve just learned, acid is bad news for our teeth. Acidic foods contribute to acid erosion, which happens when those harmful acids attack our tooth enamel. Although enamel is a hard form of tissue, it isn’t a living tissue, so it can’t be replaced or regenerated once it’s been worn down. Acid erosion can cause sensitivty as the dentin (which contains the blood vessels and nerves that make up the living tissue of the tooth) becomes exposed. This means your teeth might hurt when you eat or drink something very hot or cold.
The worst offenders: salt, wine, fizzy drinks and vinegar-based salad dressings.
Enhance your eating habits
Every dentist will tell you that how often you eat or drink sugary or acidic products is more poignant than the amount you eat (at least where your teeth are concerned!). Our teeth can only withstand a limited number of acid attacks, so if you do feel like a sweet treat, try to have it with a meal. Snacking on sweets and sipping on sugary drinks throughout the day will put your choppers under constant attack, so give them chance to recover!
Eat, wait, brush
As the enamel is weakened for an hour after an attack, it’s important not to brush your teeth directly after you’ve eaten. Brushing weakened enamel can cause even more damage, so try to wait at least an hour before picking up your brush.
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