One of the most common causes of tooth decay is, unsurprisingly, having a poor diet. However, a poor diet can also contribute to various other oral illnesses – most importantly periodontitis (which starts of as gingivitis) which is currently the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Then, of course, there is the discolouration of teeth that comes from eating the wrong types of food. So with that in mind we thought it would be worth taking a look at our diets and what we can do to improve our oral health and reduce disease and bacteria.
Foods That Discolour Your Teeth
Discolouration is caused by the teeth staining. However, it can also be caused by the build-up of tartar on your teeth – this tartar acts as a sponge that allows your teeth to stain more easily. Having a well-rounded oral hygiene routine is your best defence here.
However, there are foods to limit if you want to keep your teeth looking pearly white.
The most common culprits for teeth staining are drinks – tea, coffee and wine are three of the biggest offenders and repeated use darkens your teeth. The same is true of darkly coloured “soft” drinks like colas. Nicotine is also a huge problem and smoking is one of the worst activities for your oral health.
In terms of food there are lots of foods that if you overindulge will add to your teeth staining – curries, tomato rich pasta sauces and artificially coloured sweets are some of the biggest offenders. Try to limit your intake of artificial colourings if you want to keep your teeth white.
Foods and Drinks that Damage your Oral Health
The big and most obvious problem here is our sugar intake. We shouldn’t have more than a little sugar each day but most of us are guzzling and eating sugar rich foods and drinks all day long. Too much sugar is the leading cause of cavities. Cut back your sugar and your mouth will thank you – so will your waistline!
However, sugar isn’t the only culprit to be wary of.
Acidic foods, particularly citrus fruits and apples (let’s put that old adage to rest!) all erode the enamel on your teeth and can lead to the creation of cavities.
At the same time sticky foods with a lot of chewiness to them – particularly bread, crisps and dried fruit all tend to get stuck between the teeth and the gums. These are the hardest foods for your mouth to remove so you will need to take extra care when brushing and flossing.
Foods and Drinks that Improve your Oral Health
Every cloud has a silver lining and in this case the foods and drinks that help are easy to get more of into your diet. The most important dietary change is water. We need more water in our diets anyway. It promotes healthy amounts of saliva in the mouth which is what helps your teeth fight plaque. Cheese and Yoghurt are also great for your teeth – they have high calcium content which helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth and prevent decay. Leafy greens, celery and carrots are all incredibly helpful as well. Leafy greens contain folic acid which studies have shown helps prevent gum diseases.
Eating better is no substitute for taking care of your teeth. Brushing and flossing is just part of the process. You also need to make sure you visit the dentist regularly for check ups and always visit the dentist immediately if a problem starts to arise. Early treatment is the best way to stop problems becoming exacerbated. You can find reputable local dental reviews at websites like –