Dietary Advice & Dietary Analysis
Believe it or not but dental decay is a disease which can be completely prevented. At Gallagher Dental we aim to explain to you how this decay can be avoided. Our hygienist will investigate into you daily diet intake and you frequency of sugar intake. With proper information and advice this should result in fewer dental visits and fewer dental fillings. More importantly a visit such as this will save you time and money for you and your family. This visit will cost €60.00 and will take approximately 30mins.
Diet & Your Teeth
Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under an acid attack for up to one hour. This is because the sugar will react with the bacteria in plaque (the sticky coating on your teeth) and produce harmful acids. So, it is important to have sugary foods or drinks just at mealtimes, limiting the amount of time your mouth is at risk. Acidic foods and drinks can be just as harmful. The acid ‘erodes’ or dissolves the enamel, exposing the dentine underneath. This can make your teeth sensitive and unsightly.
All sugars can cause decay. Sugar can come in many forms. Usually ingredients ending in ‘ose’ are sugars, for example: sucrose, fructose and glucose are just three types. These sugars can all damage your teeth. Many processed foods have sugar in them, and the higher up it appears in the list of ingredients, the more sugar there is in the product. Always read the list of ingredients on the labels when you are food shopping. When you are reading the labels remember that ‘no added sugar’ does not necessarily mean that the product is sugar free. It simply means that no extra sugar has been added. These products may contain sugars such as those listed above, or the sugars may be listed as ‘carbohydrates’. Ask our dental team if you are not sure.
Acidic food and drinks can cause erosion – the gradual dissolving of the tooth enamel. Listed below are the ‘pH values’ of some food and drinks. The lower the pH number, the more acidic the product. Anything with a pH value lower than 5.5 may cause erosion. ‘Alkalis’ have a high pH number and cancel out the acid effects of sugars. pH 7 is the middle figure between acid and alkali.
Mineral water (still) pH 7.6, milk pH 6.9, cheddar cheese pH 5.9, lager pH 4.4, orange juice pH3.8 grapefruit pH 3.3, pickles pH 3.2, cola pH 2.5, red wine pH 2.5, vinegar pH 2.0
It is better for your teeth and general health if you eat 3 meals a day instead of having 7 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 and can stick to your teeth.If you do eat fruit as a snack, try to eat something alkaline such as cheese afterwards. Savoury snacks are better, such as :cheese, raw vegetables, nuts, breadsticks and crackers.
The main point to remember is that it is not the amount of sugar you eat or drink, but how often you do it. Sweet foods are allowed, but it is important just to have them at mealtimes.
To help reduce tooth decay, cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks and try to have sugar-free varieties. Confectionery and chewing gum containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol may help to reduce tooth decay. Still water and milk are good choices. It is better for your teeth if you drink fruit juices at meal times.
It is important that you brush last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a toothpaste containing fluoride.Eating and drinking foods containing sugar and acids naturally weakens the enamel on your teeth. Brushing straight afterwards can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away. It is best not to brush your teeth until at least one hour after eating.
It is especially important to brush before bed. This is because the flow of saliva, which is the mouth’s own cleaning system, slows down during the night and this leaves the mouth more at risk from decay.
Dietary Advice & Analysis: From €60