The food and drink we eat has the power to make or break our dental health. Whilst there is still a lot of educating to be done surrounding the food and drink that causes dental erosion, it’s great to see sportspeople such as Christiano Ronaldo rejecting Coca-Cola, the sponsor of Euro 2020. As well as such efforts from sportspeople, awareness around how sugar affects teeth is essential, and we can offer this to patients during a routine hygienist or dentist appointment – knowledge is power! 
Let’s take a look at the relationships between diet and tooth erosion, and how you can halt the progression of decay, something that affects 3.5 billion people worldwide. 
How sugar rots teeth 
Contrary to common belief, back in medieval times, the average peasant had very good teeth, due to the absence of sugar. This tells us just how damaging sugar is, and the role it plays in causing tooth erosion today. 
Decay and erosion occur when acids in the mouth attack tooth enamel, causing cavities to form. The acid is produced by bacteria that are found within plaque (a sticky biofilm that repeatedly forms over teeth). When we consume sugar, it intermingles with the bacteria within the plaque, producing acid, and it’s this acid that erodes your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth open to the risk of serious problems including abscesses, which can warrant your teeth needing to be removed. Here in the U.K, it’s thought that 1 in 3 adults suffers from cavities. 
Preventing tooth erosion 
It’s no real secret that we consume far too much sugar – it’s actually only supposed to make up 5% (around 7 teaspoons a day) of our energy intake, but the stats on decay clearly show this isn’t the case. Avoid tooth erosion by adopting the following habits: 
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush twice daily 
- Use floss or interdental brushes to remove lingering food particles. 
- Reduce snacking to help reduce the production of acid in the mouth. 
- Be mindful of how much sugar drinks contain (they can often be deceptive)! 
- Drink water after every meal to cleanse the mouth of bacteria. 
- Check labels on products to see how much of your RDA amount of sugar is represented. 
Finally, visit the dentist and hygienist regularly, so that problems like an emerging cavity (which can often be symptomless) can be treated before it warrants complex treatment. We understand it can be embarrassing to come to the dentist when your teeth aren’t quite how you would like them to be. Here at Park Dental Care we are non-judgmental and here only to support you in creating better dental and dietary habits, that will reduce tooth erosion. 
Virtual consultations at Park Dental Care 
If you’re dissatisfied with the way your smile looks, or need some tailored advice on maintaining bright and white teeth, why not consider a virtual consultation? Simply follow this link, upload a photo of your smile and receive a customised dental report without even having to leave your home! 
For information on the treatments we offer, whether you’re a new or existing patient, please contact our Northampton based team today 
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