Why nutrition and hydration are important for your teeth
According to the Oral Health Foundation, 31% of UK adults have tooth decay – a disease that with the right care and treatment from your dentist can be preventable. What we eat and drink has a big impact on the health of our teeth, especially as sugar is one of the main contributing factors in tooth decay. However, it’s not just sugary drinks and snacks that can cause oral health problems, eating foods that are high in acids can also lead to the erosion of enamel, the hard protective coating of the tooth.
An important reason to drink water is because fluoride, which help prevents decay, is a natural mineral found in water. Fluoride is thought to make tooth enamel more resistant to acid attack and reduce plaque bacteria’s ability to produce acid. Drinking plenty of water will also help to maintain the fluid levels in the body necessary for saliva production, which itself can reverse decay.
Drinking water also helps to keep your mouth clean; with every sip, water washes away leftover food and some of the food residue that feeds bacteria and causes cavities and tooth decay. It can also help dilute enamel-eroding acids that are produced by bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking water is not a replacement for brushing your teeth.
There is plenty of evidence that a poor diet can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Foods high in carbohydrates, sugars and starches can contribute to the production of plaque acids that lead to the weakening of tooth enamel.
It’s well known that the over-consumption of sugar can lead to tooth decay. In the UK, tooth decay is the number one reason children aged 5 to 9 are admitted to hospital. While sugar is a contributing factor to decay it is also important for your dentist to be able to spot the signs and treat it quickly, however this is not always the case and sometimes decay can go untreated.
Eat foods low in sugar such as cheese, raw vegetables and nuts
Lower your consumption of sugary drinks
Eat less sugary foods such as sweets, pre-prepared sauces and sweet baked goods
Reduce your Alcohol intake as it has a surprisingly high sugar content
There have been studies to suggest that yoghurts can be good for oral health, however, ones that are high in sugar such as fruit yoghurts or fruit fromage frais are more likely contribute to tooth decay than prevent it
Sugar can also be found in many savoury foods such as tomato ketchup, stir in sweet and sour sauce and salad cream. It is best to limit the consumption of such foods.
If you have a healthy diet, but your dentist failed to spot tooth decay or other oral health issues, you may be entitled to compensation. If you think you may have a claim, then contact the Dental Law Partnership to discuss your concerns, or complete our online claim form.