How to Choose A Healthy Diet for your Teeth
Here you will find some advice on choosing foods and snacks that are less damaging to your teeth. As part of your or your child’s check-up, your dentist may give you some dietary advice. We often find that this can be a lot of information for patients to remember along with all the other things we may have discussed during your check up, so this will hopefully serve as a reminder!
What Foods can Cause Decay?
All sugars can cause decay and it can be found in many forms. Sometimes the sugar has been added into the food, for example ‘sucrose’ and sometimes the sugar is a naturally occurring sugar, such as ‘fructose’ which is found in fruit.
One of the things to be aware of is that food or drinks that are labelled ‘no added sugar’ doesn’t mean that it is ‘sugar-free’. It simply means that although sugar hasn’t been added by the manufacturer, it could still (and often does) contain naturally occurring sugars, we find a lot of our patients are unaware of this fact and the impact it could have on their teeth and tooth decay.
It is always important to have a balanced diet (please see the Eatwell guide below).
In general, it is better to have 3 meals a day rather than 7-10 snacks (as this reduces the number of sugary attacks on your teeth).
If you do need to have snacks between meals here are some options that are less damaging to your teeth:
- Cheese, milk, plain yoghurt.
- Raw Vegetables.
- Breadsticks, cream crackers or plain biscuits, pitta bread, houmous.
Drinks play a very important role and we should be having 6-8 cups of water a day.
Plain water and milk are the top recommendations to help maintain healthy teeth.
Limit fruit juice and smoothies to 150ml a day.
If you like to have fruit juices, squash, fizzy drinks or anything that may contain sugar these to meal times only.
Please beware the acid in all fizzy drinks can damage teeth too.