Top tips to minimise the risk of tooth decay
Date: 21 February 2018 Category: Dental health
As we learnt in the blog “How do pH levels affect our oral health?” the pH balance in your mouth can affect both your teeth and gums, and potentially cause dental problems. Every time you consume an acidic or sugary product, your mouth is fighting away the acid for approximately twenty minutes after consumption.
How can you limit the risk to your teeth?
Sugary foods and drinks should only be consumed at mealtimes, limiting the amount of time the sugar and acid is present.
Eat more fruit and vegetables along with a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals because it helps to neutralise the plaque acid. If you start consuming more of these products you can help to prevent further damage.
Top tips to keep tooth decay away:
- If a sugary drink cannot be avoided, drink it down in one go or fairly quickly. This limits the amount of time the sugar is exposed to your teeth. You should follow up with water to wash away the sugar and restore the pH level back to its original state.
- It is heavily advised that you should not brush your teeth after consuming sugary, or soft drinks. This is because the enamel has already been softened by the acidity of the drinks and the bristles will brush off the enamel. By damaging the enamel, this then thins the protective layer around your tooth.
- Acidic meals should be balanced and used alongside ingredients that are alkaline to prevent the mouth having a ‘pH level spike’. Particular cheeses are advised to be consumed. Some cheeses are beneficial to help re-balance the pH levels in the mouth back to its original state. Camembert is a good example of a cheese that works in this way as this has a pH level of 7.5.
- To help prevent decay and other problems occurring, you should ensure you have an effective dental routine in place. For example, clean between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes before you brush your teeth with high fluoride toothpaste. Do not wash your brush before applying toothpaste and do not rinse afterwards (or you rinse away the protective fluoride).
- Chew sugar free chewing gum after each meal to encourage more saliva production in the mouth. This will help to remove that acidity and encourage the mouth pH to its correct level. Ordinary chewing gum should not be consumed as this contains sugar which would encourage tooth erosion.
If you have any concerns about the impact of your diet on your dental health, please speak to your dentist or hygienist on your next visit. Call our Patient Care Team on 0333 0162 230 or pop into your nearest CFD practice where we can advise you on steps you can take to improve your oral health.
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