It’s hopefully common knowledge by now that having a diet that’s high in sugar and acid isn’t the best for your dental health. In fact it’s actually detrimental for your dental health, and can lead to terrible consequences which will mean an increased amount of trips to the dentist Richmond. With this in mind, we’re going to look at the consequences of a poor diet on teeth, but also what you should be eating to ensure a better smile moving forward.
Why Is Sugar Bad?
To put it plainly, sugar is a total magnet for bad bacteria!
There are two destructive bacterias that are found in the mouth: Streptococcus Mutans and Streptococcus Sobrinus. Both of these bacteria feed on the sugar we consume and later form into plaque and tartar (the solid yellow/white substance found around the gum line of your teeth).
When plaque is not cleaned away by saliva or through cleaning, then the mouth’s environment becomes a lot more acidic and that’s when we start to form cavities and show signs of decay and gum disease.
Why Is Acid Bad For Teeth?
Whenever we eat or drink something with a high acid content, the enamel on your teeth takes a hit. Dental erosion is the loss of enamel through acid attacks, which is what we’re discussing here.
Enamel is the hard, protective coating that sits on the top of the tooth and keeps our teeth from becoming sensitive.
The salvia we naturally produce cancels out the acid we ingest; but, if it’s happening too often, then the mouth doesn’t have the time needed to repair itself. Over time, this will lead to enamel loss and bigger dental problems.
The Role Of Diet
Fundamentally, if we’re eating and drinking things that are high in sugar or acid regularly then we’re causing our bodies to work much harder to protect itself and, for most patients, the body can’t keep up with the need, leading to more dental problems.
What We Should Be Avoiding
If you’re someone who’s covering their breakfast in sugar or drinking fizzy drinks everyday then it’s highly likely you’re going to develop a decay problem, if you haven’t done so already. Being conscious that even foods like granola, which look healthy from the packaging, are actually jam packed full of sugars, are hard on our teeth, and shouldn’t be eaten everyday; no matter how delicious they might be.
The simplest rule to live by is that whole foods are good, and processed/refined aren’t so good…
What Is A Whole Food?
Whole foods are as close to their natural state as possible; they haven’t been filled with additives or sugars in order to make them last longer or taste better. Some examples of wholefoods include unflavoured yoghurts, grains, fruits, lean meat, vegetables, nuts and legumes.
What Is A Processed/Refined Food?
A processed food is a food that has been altered in any way during its preparation; this includes heating, pasteurising, freezing, or pickling. There’s also a second type of processed food which is the ultra processed; these foods are those which are ready to eat or ready to heat. These are the ones that have lots of chemicals or preservatives added to them. Examples of ultra processed foods include sweets, fried food, cake, processed meats, and ready-meals.
Refined foods are foods such as white flour, sugar, and white bread; these foods have been stripped of their outer layers and nutritional content.
Working On Your Diet
No one is saying that you need to cut out sugar totally tomorrow; because, let’s be frank, what’s life without a slice of cake. But, being conscious of your consumption is important and should be monitored. Talk to your dentist Richmond if you’re concerned about your diet for further advice on cutting down.