A HEALTHY START TO SPRING – BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR TEETH?
With the arrival of spring, many of us will be brushing off the winter cobwebs and contemplating a spring diet to help us look and feel at our best. However, according to Walsall dentist, Yusuf Kaderbhai, from WS4 Dental Care, there are some ‘healthy’ foods that may be putting our oral health at risk.
“Healthy eating is an essential part of our overall wellbeing and something we should all be incorporating into our lives,” says Yusuf. “However, many people don’t realise the impact some seemingly ‘healthy’ foods have on our oral health and the fact that they may be contributing to dental problems such as decay and acid erosion.”
Although low in fat and healthy, Yusuf says that fruit juices, smoothies, dried fruit and acidic salad dressings can be a disaster for teeth when frequently consumed.
“People will swap fizzy drinks for fruit juice thinking that it’s a healthier option, but that’s not always the case from an oral health perspective,” says Yusuf. “It’s true that fruit juice is full of vitamins and has a much higher nutritional value than carbonated drinks, but it’s still very acidic and high in natural sugars, which causes similar decay and acid erosion to teeth as cola does if it’s drunk frequently between meals.
“The same applies to smoothies - some of which contain 10 teaspoons of natural sugar per 500ml, which is scarily close to full-fat cola which has 14 teaspoons per 500ml,” he adds. “Instead, it’s better to stick to water or milk between meals and treat yourself to a fruit juice or smoothie as part of a main meal.”
The salad leaf is a friend of those watching their waistlines, but it’s the salad dressing that can be our foe, says Yusuf.
“Lemon juice and vinegar are great low-fat salad dressing options, but a generous amount eaten once or twice a day could be enough to erode your teeth due to their very high levels of acid,” says Yusuf. “Instead, try low-fat yoghurt-based dressings or even a small spoon of plain olive oil, which are much kinder to your teeth.”
According to Yusuf, although many diets advise eating ‘little and often’ to keep the metabolism going, constantly snacking throughout the day can increase the chances of tooth decay.
“Every time we eat and drink, our mouths are under attack from acids produced by the bacteria found in our mouths,” says Yusuf. “These acids can cause tooth decay if they’re not kept under control. It takes saliva about an hour to neutralise the acid, so if we’re constantly snacking throughout the day, we never give our mouths a chance to recover. It’s best to stick to three meals a day, with possibly two healthy snacks so that we’re limiting acid attacks to just five times a day. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal encourages saliva too, so this can help to neutralise acids.”
To help kick-start oral health this spring, WS4 Dental Care is offering spring cleaning packages to include Exam/ Hygiene/ Free Manual Toothbrush for only £35.00!!
For further information about looking after your oral health this spring, call the practice team on 01922 622877 or visit www.ws4dentalcare.co.uk
Member since: 9th July 2012
Our Practice is dedicated to providing quality private dentistry, including restorative, cosmetic, teeth whitening and Invisalign. Private and Denplan patients welcome. Please call 01922 622877