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6 Sinners of Dental Health

6 Sinners of Dental Health

 

We have only one set of adult teeth so it is vital that they are kept in tip-top condition. We may live in an age where teeth can be filled, buffed and whitened to perfection with a wide array of gadgets, but it is much better (and far cheaper) to prevent the need for these treatments by practicing good oral hygiene.

The Culprits

Acidic Foods/Drinks

Although fruit juice contributes to 1 of your 5 a day it is very high in sugar. A 2008 study soaked extracted teeth in various juices, finding lemon and grapefruit to cause the most decay and orange juice to cause the least. Another acidic item to avoid is jarred pickles (due to the vinegar). Studies have shown eating pickles once a day increases tooth wear by 85%. If you do eat acidic foods try to incorporate them into a meal to reduce their negative impact on teeth.

Alcohol

Drinking in excess increases the chance of mouth cancer, in a recent survey 75% of mouth cancer patients said they drank alcohol frequently. Alcohol is very acidic; it can erode tooth enamel which could lead to decay. Alcohol also contains tannins which bind to tooth surfaces and dry out the mouth, increasing the chance of staining.

Chewy/Sticky Foods

Sticky foods sit on the tooth surface and damage enamel. The worst chewies are sour flavoured; not only are they sticky, they are also high in sugar and acidic. That is a triple shot of bad tooth ingredients.

Fizzy Drinks

These drinks are extremely high in sugar and acid. If you do have one, avoid sipping it throughout the day, this prolongs tooth exposure to the sugar and acid and increases the chance of tooth decay.

Pressure Foods

Avoid foods that put excess pressure on the teeth, such as pork scratchings. Additionally do not use your teeth to do tasks like tearing sellotape, pulling tags out of clothes or taking tops of bottles. Tools were invented for a reason!

Smoking

This bad habit turns teeth yellow, causes bad breath and increases the risk of gum disease. Moreover, those who smoke 20 cigarettes or more are 6 times more likely to develop mouth cancer then those who don’t.

Sugar

Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars in food/drink to acids that attack tooth enamel. In general, foods with a low nutritional value decrease immune system efficiency, which increases the risk of illness and periodontal (gum) disease.

Despite all this bad news sugar and acid can be fought. Dentist Matthew Messina believes “good oral hygiene will compensate for almost anything.” And you don’t need to deprive yourself of the occasional bad tooth food “It’s when we excessively use one thing that it becomes a problem” Says Messina.

Remember to clean your teeth twice a day, covering all 3 tooth surfaces. Follow with flossing and mouth wash to reveal a smile worthy of Hollywood