Durban – Healthcare group Affinity Health says the more frequently you eat sugary foods and drinks, the greater your risk for tooth decay.
CEO Murray Hewlett said it is not just about the amount of sugar you consume that is the problem, but how you often consume it.
Hewlett said sugar also sticks to the surface of your teeth, providing a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. As the bacteria feed on the sugar, they make additional acid, which damages your teeth even more.
“It’s not just the sugar that's harmful to your teeth. Many sugary foods and drinks also contain high levels of acid. For example, citrus fruits, sports drinks, and even diet soda can be highly acidic,” explained Hewlett.
Here are a few tips to avoid tooth decay:
- Brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily can help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums, lowering your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- An antiseptic mouthwash can help kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Limit sugar intake: Consuming too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, so limiting your sugar intake is essential. This includes sweets, cakes, biscuits, and chocolate and sugary drinks such as soda and sports drinks.
- Drink water: Drinking water can help rinse away sugar and bacteria in your mouth, and it also helps keep your mouth and teeth hydrated.
- Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help stimulate saliva production and neutralise the acid in your mouth.
- Visit the dentist regularly: Regular dental check-ups and six-month cleaning can help remove plaque and tartar build-up and detect and treat any dental issues early on.
- Use fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride is a mineral that can help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and nuts: Eating various fruits and crunchy vegetables can help provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs for strong teeth and gums. Nuts also promote healthy teeth and gums.
- Remember to clean your tongue: Your tongue can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so remember to clean it daily. This can be done using a tongue scraper or your toothbrush.
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