What we eat can affect our teeth and it isn’t just sugar!
From a very young age, we are told that sugar is bad for our teeth. Perhaps though, at that age, the desire for sugar is much stronger than any forward thinking about tooth decay!
The fact is, that sugar IS bad for our teeth as well as other aspects of our health, and consumption should be reduced as much as possible.
It isn’t just sugar though which can cause tooth decay. Many otherwise healthy foods and diets in general can be potentially problematic for our teeth and gums. Below, the dental team at The Lodge Dental Suite take a look at three of the most common diets and how they might impact our oral health.
The large majority of people in the UK eat a mixed diet which includes meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. Within this though, there are a wide range of ‘sub diets’, from those which are low in fat and full of fresh produce to those which largely consist of foods high in fats and sugars. Whilst the lower sugar diet is generally much better for your teeth, this does not mean that care should not be taken to keep your teeth clean whatever dietary regime you follow. Meat especially, can become lodged between the teeth and can be more difficult to remove because of its fibrous nature. If left, the food will break down and release acids which may damage the enamel on the teeth.
A vegetarian diet is generally considered to be a healthy one, although, of course, it is possible to be a vegetarian and exist on cake, chips and sugary drinks so it is not necessarily the case. From an oral health point of view, providing that dairy products are consumed, then sufficient calcium should be available to keep the enamel of your teeth strong and healthy. Again though, care should be taken to keep your teeth clean especially if you consume a lot of fruit. Many fruits, especially citrus ones, have a high acid content that can break down the enamel of your teeth.
The number of vegans in the UK is increasing, whether from animal welfare concerns or simply a healthier diet. Many vegans have a low fat and high fibre diet which has been shown to offer a number of health benefits, providing that it is well balanced.
There are risks for your teeth though. Studies have shown that vegans tend to suffer from higher incidences of tooth decay. It seems that, as well as potentially having reduced calcium in the diet, vegetable proteins do not contain the amino acids that animal products do which are required to help build tissue and bone. This does not mean that it can’t be done, but great care needs to be taken to ensure an adequate intake of these nutrients. In addition to this, a vegan diet is likely to be high in fruit, and, as stated earlier, the acids in fruits can increase the risk of tooth decay.
At The Lodge Dental Suite, we really do care about our patient’s oral health, so if you are looking for a family dentist in Cheshunt, Waltham cross or the wider Broxbourne area, we are here to help.
To arrange an appointment with our dentists or hygienists, please call us on 01992 643388.