• Dr Nathan Welch

How what we eat affects our Oral Health



A healthy diet is good for your body. It is also great news for your smile. What you eat and how often you eat it can have a big impact on your oral health.


While a balanced diet packed with vitamins and minerals can yield positive effects, there are also foods and drinks you need to avoid.


One of the biggest dangers to your oral health is sugar.


Sugar damages your teeth and causes tooth decay. Over time, this often leads to fillings or even tooth extractions.


The best ways you can avoid the harm caused by sugar is to limit the amount of sugar you eat or drink. It is also important to limit the number of times during the day that your mouth is exposed to sugar.


This means keeping any sugar consumption to mealtimes. Snacking on sugar in between mealtimes is one of the biggest dangers to your mouth. It creates a build up of plaque's bacteria and does not give your mouth the chance to recover.


It is better for your teeth and general health if you eat three meals a day instead of having seven to 10 snacks. If you do need to snack between meals, choose foods that do not contain sugar.


Fruit does contain acids, which can erode your teeth. However, this is only damaging to your teeth if you eat an unusually large amount. Try not to have a lot of dried fruit as it is high in sugar.

If you do eat fruit as a snack, try to eat something alkaline such as cheese afterwards. Savoury snacks are better, such as:

  • Raw vegetables.

  • Breadsticks.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, data from the Oral Health Foundation shows staying at home has led to more than one-in-three (38%) UK adults increasing the number of times they are snacking throughout the day.


During this time, snacking has risen considerably in younger adults. Nearly two-in-three (61%) under 35s admit they are now eating more often in between meals.


Snacking has also risen amongst families with younger children. Seven-in-ten families (70%) with children under five are reporting more snacking in the household. This is more than double compared with those who are not living with children.


Use National Smile Month as your chance to reduce the sugar in your diet.


For more information please visit: Diet and your oral health.


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