Dental Health and Diet: Not Just the Usual Suspects

We all know that what we eat has a massive effect on our health, and our dental health is no exception. When it comes to tooth-unfriendly foods, there are the usual suspects: soft drinks, lollies; anything with a large amount of refined sugar. But there are a quite a few that we would be significantly less likely to suspect…

Here are our top 5 picks.

  1. Apples

Do not confuse this for us telling you not to consume apples – they’re fantastic for your health as part of a balanced diet, and you likely know how the old saying goes re. apples vs the doctor.

They are, however, acidic. Acidic fruits and teeth aren’t exactly the best of friends. Decay, erosion and enamel damage can occur.

Follow your snack with a glass of water or enjoy with an alkaline food such as cheese or yoghurt to help decrease the risk of acidic damage.

  1. Ice

Dental health experts Australia-wide will likely cringe at the mention of chewing ice, and there’s a good reason why: It can cause more dental issues than people realise: Micro fractures, tooth sensitivity, enamel damage.

Another ice-chewing fact: Ice cravings can be a symptom of iron deficiency anaemia, or calcium or magnesium deficiencies.

  1. Alcohol

This one is probably not so surprising, but perhaps the reason is: Alcohol is dehydrating, which can lead to dry mouth, and a reduction in saliva production. A reduction is saliva production can lead to decay and gum disease.

Additional risks also depend on the type of alcohol you’re drinking – beer is acidic, which can lead to enamel damage; wine is also acidic and contains tannins that stain the teeth, and some alcoholic beverages contain a lot of hidden sugars.

  1. Pasta Sauce

Specifically, tomato/red pasta sauces, for that one pesky reason: Acidity. Tomatoes are acidic, and there’s also another underlying reason: Pasta sauce is often eaten with, well… Pasta. The carbohydrates and starches in pasta also ‘feed’ the cavity-causing bacteria.

  1. Dried Fruits

Three words: Sticky, sticky, sticky. Sticky foods will cling to your teeth, and coupled with the fact that dried fruits contain a lot of concentrated sugar, you can see why this would make for a decay cocktail.

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