Acid attack - why healthy eating matters

Posted by on 6 August 2013 | Comments

Our general health and resistance to many diseases depends a lot on eating a healthy, balanced diet. Eating and drinking habits also affect our dental health. 

Dental plaque is a soft sticky substance that builds up on teeth.  Its mostly bacteria. They feed on sugar from food and drink - producing acid as a waste product.  The acids attack the teeth by dissolving the minerals in the tooth's surface.  If this happens too often, tooth decay is the result.

Acid also occurs in food and drink and it can dissolve away the tooth's surface. Acid may be found naturally or it may be added as part of a process. All fizzy drinks (including "diet" brands and fizzy mineral water) and all squashes are acidic to varying degrees.  It may come as a surprise but all fruit juices are acidic too so although they seem like a healthy option, they're not so good for your teeth. Pickles and citrus fruit are examples of acidic foods.

After an acid attack, teeth can repair themselves, given the opportunity.  Most dental problems can be avoided if you:

  • remove plaque twice a day by brushing with toothpaste
  • avoid sugary or acidic food except at mealtimes (so you eat it on a few occassions rather than throughout the day)
  • chew sugar free gum as this increases the flow of saliva which helps teeth repair themselves

Advice on healthy eating and good tooth brushing techniques are things our dental hygienist team can help with.  They're a friendly bunch - give us a call and we'll be happy to arrange an appointment.