Tooth decay often occurs when the acidity level of the mouth becomes too high, leading to demineralisation of the teeth. Simple carbohydrates (such as sugars) are considered to be a major culprit, as they are metabolised in the mouth by the bacteria in dental plaque. This in turn leads to a drop in pH level of the mouth and acid attack on the teeth.
The matter of sugars and tooth decay is not always a straightforward linear equation though. For instance, it can depend on various factors – such as the susceptibility of the individual to tooth decay, and on the timing and frequency of sugar intake.
Certainly it appears that some foods can increase the risk of decay, while others can actually slow it down or prevent it. In this post we take a look at both.
Risky foods for the teeth
Apart from the foods we eat, there are of course other risk factors for tooth decay. These include suffering from low saliva flow or dry mouth – something that can occur in the elderly and in people on certain medications. Other risk factors include poor oral hygiene, poor general health and smoking.
Better foods for the teeth
Some foods can slow or even prevent decay. Those that require considerable chewing can be very helpful as they can improve the flow of saliva – which contains calcium and other organic compounds known to be involved in tooth remineralisation.
Beneficial foods include:
The main thing to do is maintain a balanced diet – one that contains a wide variety of healthy foods and drinks. Doing so means that no foods need to be ‘forbidden’ but just not consumed too often or used as a replacement for healthy meals. It’s also important to practice good oral hygiene and to have regular check-ups with a family dentist in Ryde.
How to keep teeth healthy: a summary
To sum up, taking care of your teeth need not be a painful matter. For instance, there is no requirement to give up your favourite treats, but rather to enjoy them in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, in combination with regular teeth cleaning and visits to a Ryde dental care clinic.
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