Q. What foods can I eat to keep my teeth and gums healthy?
A. It might not be the ﬁrst thing that comes to mind, but the difference between having healthy gums and a picture perfect smile could be your diet. Even if your dental hygiene is of a high standard, not watching what you eat can make it diﬃcult to keep your teeth healthy and up to a good standard. Our teeth are important.
That’s why the majority of us like to take such good care of them by brushing them thoroughly twice a day, ﬂossing and using mouthwash. Even though we like to take such good care of our mouths, tooth decay and gum disease seem to be some of the most common diseases aﬀecting many of us.
It’s often quite easy to overlook the fact that what foods we eat are important to how good our overall oral health can be. But it doesn’t have to be that way, as there are many types of foods out there that you may not be aware of that not only cause minimal damage to your teeth but can provide a huge improvement to your oral health. Therefore eating foods that are rich in calcium, vitamin D and vitamin C can help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Better still, these foods can be found quite easily in the supermarkets. Food items like yogurt, cheese, and low-fat milk are rich in calcium. Fruit and vegetables such as oranges, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli and kale very good sources of vitamin C whilst ﬁsh, cod liver oil, and egg yolk are great sources of vitamin D.
Q. How healthy are‘healthy’ food products such as juices and smoothies?
A. Fruit juices and smoothies that are often labeled as ‘healthy’ may not be healthy after all, due to the amount of sugar some of them contain. It’s always a challenge to educate people on how much sugars are hidden in food and drink which are labeled ‘healthy’– often, they contain high levels of sugar within them.
Many people are unaware of this, due to the fact that they are endorsed by famous health professionals and celebrities. Some patients are often surprised when they continually have problems with tooth decay, even though they seem to be following the advice given by their dentists–of brushing twice a day and using the correct toothpaste. There’s a high chance this can be because of
hidden sugars within their diets, especially in these apparently‘healthy’drinks and snacks.
As dentists, it’s important for us to provide useful information to our patients, to highlight the dangers that hidden sugars can pose for their oral health as well as their overall health.
Sugar causes your teeth to decay because it reacts with bacteria that is present on them, creating acid which attaches to the tooth surface. When your teeth start to decay, it’s important to visit the dentist for an assessment which can either lead to the decaying teeth needing to be ﬁlled in or taken out altogether.
Regularly consuming high levels of sugar can have detrimental eﬀects on your oral and general health. Especially, if it’s being done with the intention of pursuing a healthier lifestyle.