Treats and Teeth

With Easter just over, many of us will have been reminded of the joys of a sweet treat – or ten. However, masses of chocolate and sugar can affect your teeth. With that in mind, here’s a few tips to help you combine eating your favourite things and keep your teeth in optimum condition.
Times To Watch

Try to eat treats just after (or before, if you want!) your main meal. Each time you consume sugar, this increases the production of acid in your mouth, which may attack your tooth enamel and lead to dental decay. Condensing this ‘attack time’ will lessen the amount of potential damage to your teeth. Doing this rather than sporadic snacking will leave your teeth less vulnerable to decay.

As well as this, one of the most important things to note is that the flow of your saliva reduces at night. So it’s best that sugary foods are consumed at least an hour before sleep. If you eat just before sleeping, this means that the lack of saliva will offer your teeth less protection. Saliva keeps the surfaces of your teeth clean and can help to neutralise the acid in your mouth. Try and keep treat consumption to the daytime to give your mouth the best chance of naturally preventing damage.

Hidden Sugars

While the sugar content of some foods may seem ‘obvious’. It’s worth noting that even supposedly ‘healthy’ foods may contain hidden sugars that could damage your teeth. A supposedly healthy treat may contain far more sugar than we think. Check labels for added sugar. Fruit content also can be one to watch – especially if juiced or blended, as when fruit is processed in this way it releases sugars which could damage your teeth. This is also true of fruit-based syrups so watch out for preserves, jams and marmalades and take extra care when eating these kind of foods. Don’t cut out fruit altogether though – especially when eaten in its raw form, fruit offers great nutrition for your teeth.

Foods To Include

Remember that there are some foods that your teeth will thank you for including in your diet. Nuts, milk, cheese and meat all contribute to keeping your teeth strong and healthy. Overall, a balanced diet is key in maintaining optimum oral health.

The Extras

Alongside a sensible diet, be sure to keep up a good hygiene regime and keep your teeth clean. Twice-daily brushing and regular dental check-ups combined with a tooth-friendly diet will go a long way towards ensuring your teeth and gums remain healthy.