Your diet can affect your teeth in several different ways. For instance it can increase the risk of oral cancer, the risk of oral diseases, and having a poor diet as a child can affect the way the facial bones develop. However the main way your diet affects your teeth is far more direct, as your choice of foods can influence whether or not you develop dental decay which is sometimes called dental caries.
Tooth decay is the second most prevalent disorder to the common cold, and although it’s more commonly seen in children and young adults, it can happen to anyone at any age. Once tooth decay does occur it is irreversible. It is caused by the action of plaque bacteria in the mouth that convert the foods you eat into energy for their own usage, producing acid as a side effect. This acid attacks the tooth enamel, softening and weakening it and increasing the risk of decay. Some foods are more attractive than others to the bacteria present in your mouth.
Starchy and Sugary Foods
Foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars are most easily converted into acids by bacteria in your mouth. If you like to eat a lot of these types of foods then you are probably more at risk of developing cavities. The risk increases if you like to snack frequently as opposed to having regular meals. Some sugary foods such as dried fruits and sweets are worse than others, as these tend to be sticky and will be in contact with the teeth for a lot longer.
Foods That Are Naturally High in Acid
Some foods are more acidic than others, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries and blackcurrants, and these will present more of a risk to teeth even though they can be good for overall health. Other foods that are naturally acidic include white wine and coffee. However the worst offenders are often soft drinks which contain both citric acids and sugar. It’s far better to swap out these drinks for something more tooth friendly such as plain water, milk or heavily diluted fruit juice.
Foods That Are Tooth Friendly
In contrast some foods are more tooth friendly, and are more likely to be recommended by dentist in Leeds City Dentalcare. A Swedish study found that eating cheese and milk products could decrease the risk of developing cavities as these foods contain calcium and phosphate, both of which are essential for building healthy teeth. These foods also seem to offer some protection against tooth decay. While some acidic fruits might not be so good for teeth, in general a diet that’s high in crunchy fruits and vegetables is pretty tooth friendly. The reason for this is that chewing these foods helps to stimulate the production of saliva which in turn washes away harmful bacteria and acids.
If you do eat something that’s less than kind to your teeth then it does pay to wait a while before brushing so that the pH levels in your mouth can return to normal. If you can’t brush after a meal then chewing sugar-free gum can also be helpful. Of course regular dental care with Dr David Brown or any of the other dentists in Leeds is essential. If you do have any small signs of decay then these can be treated relatively easily.