If you’ve ever wondered which food is best for healthy teeth, there’s never been more information available to answer that question.
The problem is much of the information about which food is best for healthy teeth is conflicting. Wherever you look – especially if Google is your main source – it seems there are differing opinions.
Of course, I’m not a nutritionist, however as a professional who spends their days looking into the mouths of patients, I can share a few tips that keep things simple and manageable even for the person most resistant to change.
And if reading’s not your thing, why not watch the short video below from the Australian Dental Association (ADA). Produced as part of the annual Dental Health Week campaign scheduled for the first full week of August, the video highlights the benefits of a healthy mouth and maintaining good oral hygiene for life.
Tip #1 – Keep your diet low in sugar
Keeping your diet low in sugar can help reduce oral health problems like tooth decay. This is because sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, and allows them to produce acid. In turn, the acid attacks teeth causing decay.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) daily recommended sugar intake is 6 teaspoons. So how do you know what that looks like? Think of it this way. A 375ml sugary cola drink has 10 teaspoons of sugar, while the average 500ml energy drink comes in at a whopping 13 teaspoons. Instead of sugary drinks, opt for regular water and milk.
This is where food and drink labelling can help. A simple thing like referring to the label when shopping and understanding the volume of sugar per serve can make all the difference to your sugar intake. If you read the label carefully, you could be surprised at what you find.
Tip #2 – Make wise food choices
Whether it’s snacks or main meals, the tip here is to avoid high sugar content foods.
Choose unprocessed whole foods over packaged foods. With the latter, aim for products with less than 10 grams of sugar per 100 gram serve and you’ll find it easier to meet the WHO recommended daily sugar intake.
When selecting snacks, avoid sweet, sticky or chewy snacks and choose healthier options such as vegetables, nuts and cheese.
Tip #3 – Drink (more) water!
Apart from reducing the amount of sugar you consume, another simple tip is simply to drink more water.
Drinking water, particularly after meals and sugary drinks, helps rinse the mouth and dilute the effects of sugar and acids which are particularly harmful to teeth and cause decay.
With the proliferation of bottled water, many of us aren’t inclined to drink plain old tap water. However the benefit of tap water is it has fluoride, which protects and strengthens teeth.
Tip #4 – Brush and floss regularly (everyday!)
Although it’s widely accepted we should brush and floss daily, a surprisingly large number of people don’t.
The 2:1 brush/floss ratio is simple to remember, that is, brush twice each day and floss once a day. How easy is that? For a total of five to six minutes a day, you’re making a great contribution to your oral and overall health.
The wrap up
I say to my patients, none of this health teeth stuff is hard. It just requires awareness and a little daily action.
Together with the team at Define Dental, we let our patients know they’re not alone on their oral health journey. On the contrary, we walk right alongside them every step of the way.
If you’re reading this and feel you’d like support to understand more about the effects of diet on teeth, we’d love you to get in touch. The Define Dental team is here to help and support your health!
Founder of Define Dental, Dr Les Jabbour is passionate about helping patients understand the connection between diet and oral health. Raising awareness through education at every visit, the Define Dental team supports patients on their oral health journey and include tips about which food is best for healthy teeth. If you’re ready to start defining your dental health, book an appointment today on 5597 2100.