The foods you choose have a direct impact on tooth and gum health! Nutritionist Phoebe Wharton gives us some top nutritional tips on maintaining a healthy mouth and making sure that your teeth and gums are in good shape.
We are privileged in the UK to have such incredible dental services, which in some cases can work miracles on our teeth. However, watching what we chose to put in our mouth can have extreme effects on our pearly whites. Bear in mind, regular visits to the dentist and brushing teeth twice a day with toothpaste is still standard! Here are some nutritional tips to help maintain healthy teeth:
Tip: Try and reduce sugar intake – especially sugary drinks! Also, try waiting longer in-between consumption to allow your teeth to recover. The more we expose our teeth to sugar acid attacks the less time they have to repair!
The evidence is clear, an increased sugar intake (particularly added sugar) causes the enamel to dissolve (due to the production of acids formed when sugar is consumed) and therefore has a negative impact on our tooth health. However it’s worth noting that the frequency of sugar intake is an important factor.
Our teeth are able to repair themselves, along with dental care if exposed to sugars on the rare occasion. The more we expose our teeth to sugar acid attacks, the less time they have to repair, resulting in a higher risk of tooth decay and dental erosion.
Tip: Dried fruits are very nutritious as they contain vitamins, minerals and fibre so they shouldn’t be excluded from the diet. Try to consume dried fruit alongside other foods, for example with yogurt or nuts and seeds.
Limit dried fruit
Do you ever feel that when you eat dried fruit it can stick around your teeth? Well this can provide a good source of sugar for the bacteria in our mouth to feed on and hence produce the acid that attacks our teeth.
Wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after food or drink
Research has suggested that brushing teeth whilst our mouth is still acidic, can actually damage the hard tissue on our teeth.
Therefore waiting 30 minutes after eating helps prevent this from happening. The British Dental Association even advises not to eat or drink anything one hour before bedtime to help prevent the wearing of enamel when brushing.
Think before you drink
It sounds simple enough that if you’re wanting to maintain a healthy mouth you should limit sugary and acidic drinks such as soft and fizzy drinks.
However limiting our coffee, tea (even herbal teas) and red wine intake can also help maintain a healthy mouth as research has shown they contain chromogens which contribute to staining of the teeth.
The British Dental Association has advised that rinsing your mouth with water after sugar consumption or drinking water alongside your cake or coffee is a good way to help protect your teeth.
Tip: Drinking water more often not only helps maintain a healthy mouth, it helps keep us hydrated. Increasing water consumption is also important for skin health and maintenance of bodily functions.
Drink more water.
Drinking water flushes out the mouth and rebalances the pH of the mouth. Water washes away leftover food and residue that
cavity-causing bacteria love to eat. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth.
Feature from inside our Thrive Health Magazine Summer issue article written by: Phoebe Wharton. @phoebewhartonnutrition
Phoebe Wharton is a registered Nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition (ANutr) Phoebe obtained a Bachelor (BSc)degree in Nutrition and Health and is also registered with the Nutrition Society.