It’s often a long time between brushes, possibly 7am to 9pm – there’s a lot of damage you can do to your teeth during that time.
Dental decay due to high-sugar diets is one of the most common problems dentists have to treat – and the simplest to prevent with simple diet choices and good dental care. People don’t realise just how much diet affects their dental health – not to mention general health – so watching what you eat is great your teeth, waistline, energy levels and fighting off illness and disease. Here are a few great tips for your daily routine:
Avoid breakfast acid
Fruit juices, oranges, grape fruit and other acidic food and drink often eaten at breakfast can soften the enamel on your teeth, and brushing afterwards can compound this problem. Sticking to milk, oats, cheese, cereal and bread is better for the enamel. If you do choose sugary options like juice and citrus fruit, brush your teeth beforehand, or wait at least an hour before brushing.
Keep your fluids up throughout the day
Choose water or milk rather than coke or other fizzy drinks during the day. The British Dental Health Foundation suggests that diluted sugar-free squashes are the safest alternative to water and milk, and advises that the drink is diluted one part cordial to ten parts water – which is pretty watery, but will mean your squash lasts longer!
No snacks for you!
Eating three times a day is better for your teeth than lots of snacking, but if you need an afternoon pick-me-up, stick to raw vegetables, nuts and breadsticks – also great for energy levels and waistline.
Spruce up after lunch
Chewing sugar-free gum is an excellent alternative to brushing if you want to freshen your breath throughout the day. It produces extra saliva which neutralises acidity from what you’ve been eating and drinking.
If you’re popping by the pub, keep your teeth in mind – swerve the wine and cider, and go for lager or gin and tonic instead, which have much lower acidity.
A bit of cheese for dessert
Cheese’s high alkaline content makes it the ideal snack to end a meal with. If you are having fruit and cheese following dinner then eat the fruit (high acid content) first followed by the cheese (high alkaline content).
Brush your teeth last thing at night. While you are sleeping, saliva production slows – leaving the mouth more vulnerable to decay.