Sugar in the diet causes tooth decay.
Whilst it is impossible to avoid sugars all together, frequent consumption of food and drink with high levels of sugar are a particular risk.
We would advise that you avoid consuming sugar containing food and drinks between meal times. The obvious things are sweets, chocolates, cakes and biscuits but watch out for foods sweetened with honey or fruit juices. Juices and smoothies labelled as “no added sugar” can still have high levels of sugar available to cause tooth decay. Similarly low fat fruit yoghurts are often labelled as healthy choice but contain high levels of sugar.
We would encourage you to eat safer snack foods between meals: nuts, fresh fruit (but not dried fruit), small cubes of low fat cheese, sugar free sweets (“Tooth Friendly”) or toast (without jam or honey).
Sugary foods are best limited to meal times. If you give your children sweets then make them an occasional treat at a set time, once a week. Sweets should be consumed over a brief period – “grazing” should be discouraged.
Fluoride can help to prevent or reverse tooth decay but a healthy diet is the key first step to preventing tooth decay.
Acid erosion can also be a problem that can lead to unsightly, worn and sensitive teeth.
Acid food and drink includes all fruit and vegetables, particularly citrus. All fizzy drinks and all “dry” drinks have a significant acid content as do spicy and pickled foods, yoghurt and e-cigarettes.
Try to limit your consumption of acid food and drink. It can be helpful to rinse your mouth with water or milk after acid exposure. Similarly cheese at the end of a meal might help.
DO NOT BRUSH YOUR TEETH for at least 30 minutes after any acidic food or drink.