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How does your diet affect your oral health?

In today’s society, you can’t go a day without hearing something mentioned about having a good diet and healthy lifestyle. It is a big topic of conversation within the news, as well as on social media and even within groups of friends. 

There is no doubt that having a healthy balanced diet is beneficial for your health, but could it also help your oral health? 

The smile diet

The smile diet is a concept that promotes making small changes to your diet, that will have a big impact on your oral health. The term ‘oral health’ is used to summarise the condition of your teeth, gums, tongue and other soft tissues in the mouth. 

Almost nine in ten adults know that having a healthy diet is important for maintaining a healthy mouth. However, there is a big difference in the number of people actually following this healthy diet. 

The Oral Health Foundation say: “By removing unhealthier options and replacing them with deliciously nutritious alternatives, our physical health, mental wellbeing and our smile, will all feel the benefits.”

What is a balanced diet?

Having a balanced diet is all about eating a wide range of different foods, in the right proportions. You should have at least five portions of fruit and veg per day, alongside fibre, protein, dairy, and a very small amount of fat. 

To find out more about having a well-balanced diet, please click here.

Reduce your snacking

In the UK, we have developed a snacking habit. There have been repeated results from studies that show that snacking can cause harm to our teeth. Snack foods often contain large amounts of sugar which will attack your teeth, making them weaker and more susceptible to decay. To protect your teeth, limit foods like sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks and even dried fruit to meal times.

If you do want to snack between meals, choose raw vegetables like carrot and celery sticks. Their fibrous texture will help to keep your teeth clean between morning and night-time brushing. 

Keep hydrated

One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay and keep your mouth healthy is to drink plenty of fluids. You should be drinking at least 6-8 glasses of fluids per day. Preferably, this is water. Water is great for your overall health, waistline and of course, your teeth. It contains no sugar and has a neutral acidity level. It also helps to rinse your mouth of any food particles that are left. 

Milk is also a great choice of drink, as it is full of calcium. Keep to skimmed or semi-skimmed milk to lower the amount of calories that you consume. 

Visit the dentist regularly

No matter how healthy your diet or how good your oral health routine is, your teeth and gums will still be at risk if you don’t visit a dentist on a regular basis. Your dentist is trained in spotting potential problems before they become more serious, meaning they will be easier and often cheaper to treat. As well as this, they can offer you valuable advice on how to protect your teeth and gums from future problems. 

To book an appointment with one of our dentists at Stella Maris Dental in West Bromwich, please click here.


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