Eating Habits: Do’s and Don’ts to Protect Your Teeth
We love indulging in our favourite snacks and drinks, but have you ever stopped to think that these foods and drinks could be damaging your teeth? It’s true! Our eating habits don’t just impact our overall health. With regard to oral health, bad eating habits can even lead to problems like tooth decay and loss of teeth. Simply brushing and flossing your teeth daily will not help keep your pearly whites healthy if you’re not mindful of what you eat and drink.
Want to know how you can enjoy your favourite foods and drinks while also maintaining your oral health? Let’s take a look at some do’s and don’ts when it comes to your eating habits.
Limit Added Sugar Intake
Consuming foods and drinks containing high amounts of sugar can lead to tooth decay and other dental problems. When you eat or drink something with high sugar content, the bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars to produce acid which attacks the tooth enamel and causes problems like decay, cavities, etc. This is why it’s really important to be mindful of the sugar levels in your foods and drinks. Try to avoid frequent snacking on sweet treats like candy, biscuits and cakes, and drinks like fizzy drinks and energy drinks, which contain high levels of sugar and acid in them.
Drink More Water
Did you know that drinking water can help you prevent oral decay and maintain good oral health? Yes, you heard right. With no calories and no sugar, water is a great way to stay hydrated compared to sugary drinks that can cause tooth decay. Water can also help wash away food particles from our teeth and gums, further reducing the risk of cavities. Perhaps a less-known fact is that water also helps our bodies produce saliva, which is important to help us chew, swallow, and digest food more easily.
Limit Snacking Between Meals
The more we snack between meals, the more acid is produced, which means you are more prone to dental problems. The same goes for binge eating and especially midnight snacking if you return to bed without brushing your teeth.
We know it can be hard to stop snacking altogether. So, don’t worry, because we have some alternatives for you! Instead of sugary and starchy snacks, you can try healthy snacks like fresh fruit, vegetables, or dairy products. Or, you can make it a point to stay more hydrated throughout the day because it can help you feel full and avoid the urge to grab a snack!
Limit Alcohol Consumption
From tooth decay to staining, alcohol has a range of negative impacts on your oral health. One of the most common is dry mouth. Dry mouth is a dental condition where your mouth produces less saliva. Saliva tends to neutralise acids in the mouth so reduced saliva production can leave your teeth more vulnerable to dental problems. Alcoholic drinks also contain high sugar and acid levels, which further increases the risk of tooth decay and erosion.
Avoid Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
Smoking and chewing tobacco can also affect your teeth, gums, and oral health. Those who smoke are at higher risk of experiencing gum problems, tooth loss, and oral cancer. In addition, we always recommend avoiding smoking after dental surgery or tooth removal since it increases your surgery failure rate and risk of infection while delaying healing times.
Stop Chewing Ice
If you find yourself chewing ice, it’s time to break this habit because it can damage the enamel of your teeth and lead to chipped and cracked teeth. It can also lead to broken teeth, which can be quite painful and costly to treat.
Following good eating habits while maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine is a great way to maintain good oral health. Your dental hygiene routine should involve brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing daily, and having regular dental checkups every 6 months with our dentist to help catch dental problems before they become more severe.
Don’t wait until it’s too late! If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, our friendly and experienced team of dentists are here to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.