18th January 2012
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With the arrival of 2012, many of us will be brushing off the Christmas cobwebs and contemplating a New Year’s diet to help us look and feel at our best.  However, according to Walsall dentist Yusuf Kaderbhai from local practice WS4 Dental Care, there are some ‘healthy’ foods that may actually 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 juices are full of vitamins and have a much higher nutritional value than carbonated drinks, but they are still very high in acid and natural sugars. This causes similar tooth decay and acid erosion as cola does if it’s drunk frequently between meals. 


“The same applies to smoothies - some of which contain ten 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 enjoy fruit juice or smoothies as part of a main meal.”


Whilst the salad leaf is a friend to those watching their waistlines, it’s the salad dressing that can be a foe, warns Yusuf.

“Lemon juice and vinegar are great low-fat salad dressing options, but due to their very high acid levels, a generous amount eaten once or twice a day could be enough to erode your teeth,” says Yusuf. “Instead, try low-fat yoghurt-based dressings or even a small spoonful 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 in between so that we’re limiting acid attacks to just five times a day. Chewing sugar-free gum or eating cheese after a meal encourages saliva too, so this can help to neutralise acids.”


For further information about looking after your oral health in 2012, call the practice team on 01922 622 877 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            01922 622 877      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit www.ws4dentalcare.co.uk

About the Author

WS4 Dental C

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

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