21 Jul Tooth Friendly Food and Drinks
Did you know that your everyday diet has a significant impact on the health of your teeth?
The different foods and drinks that we consume are not always “Tooth Friendly”. It is important to be aware which foods and drinks can be harmful to your teeth and your children’s teeth. we offer dietary advice as part of our preventive treatment when you see a Dental Hygienist. Our Hygienists will help teach your child to make the right food/drink choices to keep their teeth healthy. Read about our Decay Management Programs
Bacteria in our Mouth
The bacteria in our mouths thrive by feeding off sugars we consume and then create acid. It was once the belief that only sweets and lollies were the main foods to blame for tooth decay. We now know that all types of sugars in many different foods and drinks can contribute to tooth decay.
A list of Tooth Friendly and Tooth Damaging food/drinks is outlined below. Some are quite surprising!
Tooth Friendly Foods/Drinks Tooth Damaging Foods/Drinks
CHEESE! In addition to being rich in calcium research has shown that it helps neutralise the mouth Lollies and Sweets (including biscuits, ice-cream, sugary desserts, muesli/cereal bars)
Nuts Peanut butter, Honey, Chocolate spreads, jams
Fruit (ensure washed down with water afterwards) Crackers
Yoghurt Dried fruit
Raw or cooked vegetables Potato chips
Unflavoured Milk, Water Sports drinks, soft drink, fruit juice, cordial, flavoured milk
Some more helpful tips include:
• Minimise snacking. After eating plaque acid attacks can last up to 20 minutes, therefore the more times your child eats during the day the longer their teeth are exposed to acid attacks which causes tooth decay. Provide snacks that are “Tooth Friendly”.
• Fizzy, sugary or sports drinks are NOT Tooth Friendly and should be minimised or cut out altogether. If these types of drinks are consumed only drink them with a main meal in one go through a straw to reduce contact with the teeth. They should never be swished in the mouth or sipped gradually throughout the day.
• Only eat sweet things at the end of a meal when your saliva is working at its best to wash away food particles and bacteria. Better still, stick to cheese or fruit after a meal.
• After finishing a meal wash food down with water and chew some sugar-free gum for 10 minutes afterwards. This neutralises (cancels out) plaque acids. Special children’s “Tooth Friendly” gum is now available.
Most importantly, ensure your child has a balanced diet and foods and drinks that are not so “Tooth Friendly” are only consumed occasionally. Also remember to help your child with their morning and night time tooth brushing and flossing to ensure all food particles and plaque are removed thoroughly from their teeth!