Diet & Nutrition
Everything you eat and drink can have a major effect on the health of your teeth and gums. Tooth decay is a diet-related disease which is caused when the sugar from food and drinks you eat produces acids that can attack the outer layer of tooth enamel.
To ensure that your diet doesn’t negatively affect your teeth, there’s a few key things to keep in mind:
Drink lots of water
Water is calorie-free, it is also good for you compared to other drinks & it’s almost free! Even better, tap water in most areas of Australia contains fluoride, one of the easiest and most beneficial ways to help prevent tooth decay.
Limit snacking between meals
A key factor in helping to prevent tooth decay is saliva, which provides a natural defence mechanism within the mouth by neutralising the acids produced by bacteria. However, if you snack frequently between meals, your saliva may not get a chance to work. Try to limit sugary treats to mealtimes, rather than between meals.
Watch what you eat
It is not just the obvious sweet foods and drinks such as lollies and soft drinks that can cause decay. Frequent snacking on foods with hidden sugars like biscuits, crackers, cereals, chips and even dried fruit (these foods break down into sugars in the mouth) can cause acid attacks on your tooth enamel.
Chewing sugar-free gum (and that’s the crucial qualifier, it must be sugar-free!) may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you’re thinking about good dietary habits that benefit your teeth. But studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating can prompt your mouth to produce more saliva, which helps neutralise decay-causing acid attacks.