There are many ways our food and drink can affect oral health. A healthy varied diet has as great an impact on our teeth as a good cleaning routine and regular dental checks.
A varied diet ensures children are getting all the nutrients they need, and this is just as good for their teeth as it is for the rest of their body. During appointments we often talk to our younger patients about the importance of a good diet to help to reinforce the messages they hear at home.
Make the change
A varied and balanced diet is as important to dental health as it is to general health and wellbeing. When children get all the nutrients they need, not only is it good for the teeth, it also benefits the rest of the body. Milk, cheese and yoghurt are good sources of protein and some vitamins. They’re also an important source of calcium, which helps keep teeth and bones strong.
Small changes to the diet can result in stronger healthier teeth, and when good habits are established at an early age these benefits can be seen all the way through to adulthood. Every change helps, so try swapping sugary drinks for milk or water, biscuits can be substituted for toast or malt loaf, and low-sugar yogurts are kinder to teeth than the full sugar variety.
Minimising the impact of sugar
It’s no secret that many dental problems can be linked to excess sugar. We understand that it is unrealistic to cut all sugar out of the diet, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the impact. With sugar, the frequency of consumption is more important than the quantity so we recommend restricting sweets and chocolate to set times. The decay process begins when plaque is provided with sugar, this produces acid which attacks tooth enamel so as far as dental health is concerned, it is safer to eat a full packet of sweets in one sitting than to eat one per hour over the course of a day.