Here’s how you can help your family stay ‘MouthHealthy’ on Halloween and year-round.
Time It Right
Eat Halloween sweets (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.
Stay Away from Sweet Snacks
Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing sugary treats from the candy bowl. Snacking on candy throughout the day is not ideal for your dental health or diet,.
Choose Sweets Carefully
Make sure your sweets are sugar free.
Avoid hard sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
Avoid Sticky Situations
Sticky sweets cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like toffee and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Have a Plan
It’s tempting to keep that candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you limit your stash. ‘Have your family pick their favourites and donate the rest.’
Drink More Water
Drink water, avoid a dry mouth this can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are sugar free. Even sugar free ‘diet’ fizzy drinks may be acidic which cause harm to your teeth
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your body is like a complex machine.The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.
Stay Away from Sugary Beverages
This includes fizzy drinks, sports drinks and flavoured water.When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.
Chew sugar free chewing gum
Chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralise the acid produced by bacteria.
Brush Twice a Day
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride containing toothpaste. Change your tooth brush 8- 10 weeks , or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
Clean Between Your Teeth
Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
The regular advice and care you will receive from your dentist and the whole team will help you to stay healthy.
Acknowledgements to the American Dental Association
Most people are aware of the dental perils of sugary soft drinks and fruit juices, but surely sparkling water is perfectly safe for your teeth, right? After all, dentists often recommend water as an alternative to sodas and sports drinks. It might surprise you to learn that it’s not quite so straightforward.
Soft drinks can be bad for your teeth because they tend to be loaded with sugar or non-sugar sweetener alternatives that feeds harmful oral bacteria, resulting in the creation of enamel-attacking acids. As the protective enamel layer is stripped away, it leaves the teeth exposed to infection and decay.
It is not just the sugar in soft drinks that threatens tooth health. It’s all the fizz.
Carbonated beverages get their fizz from carbon dioxide, which is converted to carbonic acid in the mouth. This acid has the potential to cause erosion of dental enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay.
One of the warning signs of enamel erosion in increased tooth sensitivity with exposure to hot or cold foods/drinks. Yellowing of the teeth may also signal enamel erosion as the white, shiny enamel gives way to the darker, yellower dentine underneath.
Keeping Things in Perspective
Now before you start panicking and give up Perrier and Pellegrino forever, it’s important to note that even though sparkling waters can alter the acidic balance in the mouth, it pales in comparison to the sort of acidic damage that occurs with the likes of sodas, fruit juices and other sugary or sweetened beverages. That said, if sparkling water is your drink of choice and you’re sipping it throughout the day, it could accelerate tooth wear. Especially if you like the flavoured sparkling waters, or enjoy a slice of lemon or lime. The addition of any such flavourings or fruit increases the acidity of the beverage.
Generally speaking, unflavoured sparkling water is considered fine for your teeth – in moderation! .A study found that both types of water were more or less the same in their effects on enamel, noting that sparkling water is slightly more acidic. So, all things in moderation – if you don’t overdo it with sparkling water, your teeth should be fine
- Be sure to mix in plenty of fluoridated plain water along with sparkling water to help naturally fight cavities and maintain the healthy pH balance in the mouth.
- Be mindful of the fact that all sparkling waters are not created equal. For example, citrus-flavoured waters increases the acidity levels of the beverage, increasing the risk for enamel erosion.
- Watch out for sparkling water which have sugar in them. Flavoured waters with sugar can be as bad as other sugar-laden drinks, so if you enjoy sparkling water, make sure you’re enjoying the real deal.
The team at the Harrow Dental Centre will be happy help if you have any concerns.
It is not what we eat or drink that effects tooth erosion but how we eat or drink .Tooth erosion — also known as dental erosion or acid erosion — occurs when acids wear away tooth enamel, which is the substance that coats the outer layer of each tooth. Over time, this erosion could give rise to tooth discoloration, sensitivity and in the extreme, even tooth loss. Unsurprisingly, the analysis revealed that acidic foods and drinks posed the greatest risk of tooth erosion.
The risk of moderate or severe tooth erosion is reported to be 11 times higher for adults who drank acidic beverages twice daily, particularly when they were consumed between meals, compared with those who consumed such beverages less frequently. When acidic drinks were consumed with meals, the risk of tooth erosion may be reduced by half.
Interestingly, the researchers found that adding fruit flavourings to beverages — for example, adding lemon to hot water — made them just as acidic as cola.
Your teeth are strong, but they’re not indestructible. Most popular drinks are very high in acid, and this acidity can damage your enamel. Once it is damaged, you’ll need your dentist’s help so that it doesn’t wear away more..
Dangers of Acidic Drinks
Drinks with a low pH level can cause a variety of oral health problems, but it begins when they eat away at the hard, outer layer of your teeth. Enamel erosion is a problem because enamel that becomes destroyed can’t grow back. Unlike other materials in your body, your enamel doesn’t have any living cells, so there’s no way for it to heal itself.
When your tooth enamel erodes, the sensitive, yellow-coloured dentine underneath is exposed. This is why your teeth will start to look discoloured when you don’t take care of them. But the exposed dentine doesn’t just have cosmetic downsides; it can also lead to painful dental conditions like tooth sensitivity. People with sensitive teeth experience pain when they drink or bite into hot, cold, sweet, acidic or spicy foods and drinks, and it can have adverse effects on their diet in the long run.
Common Acidic Drinks
Studies have indicated diet soda is not any more tooth-friendly than regular soda. Although it is sugar-free, it’s still overwhelming to your enamel if you drink it regularly. Even surprisingly small quantities of soda can damage your teeth; as little as one glass per day has been linked to damage. Fruit juices contain healthy vitamins and minerals, you may assume they’re healthy for your teeth as well. Sadly, this isn’t the case.
Orange juice and similar citrus-sourced liquids are packed with Vitamin C, but they’re packed with tooth-damaging acids as a result.
The Oral Health Foundation is a great source of further information, you may find this web site interesting.
For more information and advice contact us via our website www.harrow-dentist.com
6 April 2018
A sugar tax applies to soft drinks from today.
The first is a tax on the total sugar content of drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml (taxed on point of production or importation at a cost of 18p per litre), and the second, a higher tax (24p per litre) on those drinks with 8g or more sugar per 100ml.
Drinks manufacturers have responded to these measures in one of two ways: by reducing the sugar content of their drinks – in some cases replacing it with sweeteners – or by proposing price increases to account for the levy.
Although sugar is notorious as an enemy of dental health, another food ingredient could also be damaging your teeth: phosphoric acid. Found in carbonated cola drinks, phosphoric acid is thought to be the second most abundant food additive in the food industry. Due to its high acidity level, phosphoric acid may erode enamel and make your teeth more prone to decay. Diet drinks are therefore potentially just as harmful to your teeth( not to mention the artificial sweeteners).
When low-pH foods with phosphoric acid make contact with your teeth, your enamel begins to dissolve and soften, paving the path to decay. Softened tooth enamel can promote plaque formation, which then leads to further enamel erosion. If damage from phosphoric acid becomes severe, erosion may spread under your enamel and into the layer of dentine below, causing sensitivity and toothaches.
You can reduce the impact of phosphoric acid on your teeth by changing the way you consume soda and other foods with this ingredient. Drink through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth, rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking soda, limiting your soda intake to one serving per day, and drinking phosphoric acid-containing beverages only at mealtime. In addition, drinking soda quickly rather than sipping it slowly can reduce the exposure phosphoric acid has with your teeth.
Although you can take measures to protect your teeth from phosphoric acid in beverages, you may want to avoid such drinks for other reasons .Fizzy drinks typically contain additive dye, caffeine and large amounts of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which provides empty calories without any nutrition. Even sugar-free sodas may be mildly addictive if they contain caffeine. In addition, MayoClinic.com notes that sodas may be linked to kidney stones, other forms of kidney disease, high blood pressure, excess weight gain in the midsection and insulin resistance. Choosing beverages without phosphoric acid, such as milk or fruit juice, can help you avoid damage from soda while also obtaining more vitamins and minerals.
Here is a thought –
Will manufacturers of tomato ketchup, breakfast cereal, fruit yogurt , biscuits, chocolates cakes ,processed foods and baby formula milk now consider reducing the sugar content in their products?