As the saying goes, “you are what you eat”. This also applies to your oral health. It is important that you are mindful of what you put into your body as this can have damaging effects on your body, specifically your mouth!
Drinks Are Your Top Staining Culprits!
Common teeth stainers include tea, coffee, fruit juices, fizzy drinks, red wine and other dark coloured alcoholic drinks, and some starchy foods. These foods and drinks contain additives such as corn syrup and food dye, which can make white teeth appear dull and discoloured.
The good news is that as long as they’re enjoyed responsibly and within moderation it is unlikely to cause problems to your general or oral health. When drinking coffee, tea or any other staining beverages, you can protect the teeth by using straws for drinking.
Your Liver Is Not The Only Organ Affected By Alcohol
Yes, the mouth is an organ in the digestive system. Aside from staining your teeth, excessive alcohol consumption is linked to a range of oral health problems. It increases the risk of mouth cancer by four times and many types of alcohol have high sugar content and high acidity which can increase your risk of tooth decay and acid erosion.
Does this mean you should stay away from alcohol all together? Not at all! We recommend that alcohol, like with most things, be enjoyed in moderation. Limit the effects of alcohol on your oral health by keeping your consumption below 14 units of alcohol a week, and drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks to stay hydrated and to rinse your mouth.
Sugar Is Mouth Bacteria’s Best Friend
The food you eat has an effect on your whole body, including your teeth! We recommend limiting sugary and acidic foods to protect your teeth. There are harmful bacteria in your mouth, which produce acid when they encounter and digest sugar. These acids can erode the enamel of your teeth, leading to cavities.
Bad bacteria are also attracted to sugar. They feed on the sugar you eat, forming dental plaque – a sticky, colourless film that forms on the surface of the teeth. If it is not washed away by brushing or your saliva, this also causes acidic build up in your mouth, leading to cavities forming.
If you do eat sugary foods and sweetened or acidic beverages, it is important that you have them with your meals, instead of between them.
You may also reduce the harmful effects of the sugar and acid in your diet with a glass of water or, if you have some with you, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash after you eat or drink!
Regular trips to your dentist alongside taking good care of your teeth and practicing a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to keep your mouth healthy.