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Top 5 nutritional tips to keep your teeth healthy

What we eat plays a huge, and often overlooked, part in maintaining healthy teeth.

One of the most effective dietary changes we can make for our dental health and overall wellbeing is to limit our intake of added sugars.

Unfortunately consuming too many of your favourite sweet treats can cause cavities! Sugar from the foods we eat is fermented by bacteria in the mouth. This fermentation produces acid which lowers the pH of the mouth and increases the risk of caries.

To minimize this process, the World Health Organisation recommends limiting our sugar intake to 6 teaspoons a day. To put that in perspective, a 350mL can of coke contains 9 teaspoons, a scary 1 ½ times our recommended daily intake.

Foods that are sweet, sticky and acidic are particularly worth limiting with soft drinks, cordials, lollies and sweetened spreads like honey and jam being especially guilty culprits.

It’s not all bad news! There are plenty of delicious foods that help to keep your teeth healthy.

Cheese and yoghurt are great for teeth! Dairy products contain calcium and vitamin D which are essential for healthy, strong teeth. Cheese and yoghurt are particularly great because they contain probiotics which help maintain the balance of good bacteria in our mouths.

In general, enjoying a wide variety of nutrient rich foods from the five food groups; whole grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy/dairy alternatives and meat/meat alternatives, is great for the body and consequently great for your teeth.

Combining these dietary considerations with regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups is the most effective way to prevent cavities and maintain your beautiful smile!

By Sophie Guidolin