Can diet improve your oral health
There are several ways in which what you eat, when you eat and how you eat can affect your oral health.
We’re often told as kids that too much sugar will rot our teeth. Well, unfortunately, that is true. However, it’s not limited to our intake of sweets. Sugar and acids attack the teeth and gums for up to an hour after consuming them. It makes sense then to follow a healthy and balanced diet to keep your mouth in tip-top condition. A balanced pH is absolutely vital for healthy teeth and gums, which means that we need to watch what we’re eating and drinking.
It isn’t all bad news. It’s not the amount of sugar and acids that we consume, but how often we consume them. Obviously brushing and a good oral care routine will help get rid of the majority of bad bacteria.
We’ve been looking at some helpful hints on how you can improve your oral health without having to give up all the things you love.
Alcohol. Are you a wine or a cider drinker? If so, these are some of the most acidic drinks you can indulge in. Wine falls between 2.7-4.0 on the pH scale, whilst cider is usually between 2.9-4.5. Now, if we consider that vinegar has a pH balance of around 2, it’s easy to see how those beverages can impact your oral health. Vodka (6.0-7.0) and whiskey (9.0) are much higher in alkaline with beer and lager around 4.0-5.0.
Fruit Juice. It’s recommended that we stick to a glass of fruit juice or a smoothie with meals. Or, at the very least, to dilute them in between meals. These are typically high in acid and natural sugars. It’s important to check the ingredients when you shop to make sure that your favourite brand isn't adding any unrefined sugars to that mix too! Cranberry juice is the most acidic, generally falling between 2.3-2.5. Apple juice and grape juice also have a high acid pH so should be consumed in moderation.
Some Dairy Products. These can be tricky. Whilst some dairy products are considered alkalising (yoghurt and milk), products made from cow's milk, like cheese, ice cream and milkshakes, are higher in acid. Some diets require dairy products as a source of calcium. As with fruits and fruit juice, moderation is the key. It’s also worth trying to steer clear of processed dairy foods if you can. With so many dairy-free options now available there are multiple ways to make changes to this aspect of your diet for oral health.
Square Meals vs Snacks. Also a bit of a tricky one. Technically, it’s better for your teeth if you eat meals as opposed to several snacks throughout the day. There are a number of reasons this kind of diet can benefit your oral health. Mainly, it’s because bacteria can attack the teeth and gums for up to an hour following meals or snacks. Thus by snacking regularly as opposed to eating a regular meal, your oral health is at more risk. If you prefer to snack as opposed to eating set time meals, there are ways that you can alkalise your mouth between snacks. These include brushing your teeth, drinking water regularly and chewing gum.
Everything in Moderation. The thing is, nobody is perfect. Even with the best of intentions, the occasional chocolate bar, boiled sweet or pint of orange juice and lemonade is sometimes too tempting to resist. It’s a good idea to cut down on refined sugars, for multiple health reasons. It’s a good idea to keep track of especially acidic or sugary foods which you may eat. Ultimately though, the key is balance and a good oral care routine.
There are multiple factors to consider, especially when including existing conditions such as sensitive teeth or inflamed gums. The above is really just a basic outline of how your diet can affect your overall oral health. Your dentist can advise you if you need to drastically cut down on your sugar or acid intake. Always keep in mind that a regular and thorough oral care routine is one of the best ways you can keep a healthy pH balance for your teeth and gums!
Did you know…?
The ingredients in Truthpaste are specifically picked to help maintain a healthy pH balance for your teeth and gums.
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Have you changed your diet for your oral health? Have we missed something out? Get in touch via the comments below.
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