• By 1300 SMILES
  • August 20, 2020

The best ways to look after your teeth and gums are still the same; brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush for 2-3 minutes, floss your teeth every day, have a diet low in sugary and acidic foods and drinks and visit your dentist regularly.  These simple steps will ensure that you keep your oral health the best it can be.  The trickiest aspect of these tasks is diet.  We are all busy and we are all looking for the faster way to eat on the run.

The problem with quick fixes: 

The problem is that a lot of our ‘quick fix’ meals and snacks are full of sugar and not very nutritious.  The other problem, unfortunately, is that most of these meals are also cheaper than healthier food alternatives.  The bacteria (plaque) that we don’t remove when we brush and floss loves sugar!  So, if you aren’t removing the plaque properly every morning after breakfast and every night just before bed, then you are eating a diet high in sugar, what do you think will happen?  That’s right.  It will increase your risk of tooth decay.  The leftover bacteria start to turn the sugar into acid which then attacks the enamel on your teeth and starts the decay process if left too long.

Become a smart consumer: 

As consumers, we need to be smarter and start taking note of the sugar content in the foods we are purchasing.  Checking nutrition labels for sugar content and aiming to pick foods with less than 20% sugar content or 10% if possible, makes it simple to pick healthier options to protect your teeth.  A diet high in meat, fresh vegetables, grains, dairy and poultry is your best defence against decay.  Aim to avoid sticky, processed foods such as; muesli bars, fruit bars, sugary spreads (Nutella, jam), lollies, cake, ice cream and biscuits.  The more frequency of sugary foods in your diet the increased risk of tooth decay.  Fruit, if eaten in large quantities daily can also affect the enamel on your teeth as it contains natural sugars and some fruits are acidic.  This is why the juice fad is a dental nightmare.  The sugar and acid combination is perhaps the worst so remember ‘everything in moderation’.

Limit sugary drinks: 

The ever-increasing dietary concern for tooth decay is acidic and sugary drinks.  Soft drink sports drinks, energy drinks and juice are all drinks we put in the ‘treat’ or ‘sometimes’ basket.  These drinks should be ultimately avoided or only consumed in low quantities and frequency.  When consumed acidic drinks should be drunk with a straw, then rinse your mouth with water straight after and avoid brushing your teeth for half an hour or until your mouth is sufficiently hydrated to avoid enamel damage.

Moral of the story, instead of sugary on-the-go foods frequently throughout your day with acidic drinks, be wise and choose water and fresh, unprocessed foods to ensure your teeth stay safe, protected and you will always have a fabulous smile.


Leah Smith

Oral Health Therapist

1300SMILES Mackay