Bad: the sticky stuff
It’s obvious that sugary foods such as sweets, toffee, caramels, lollipops and so on aren’t good for your teeth but some sugary foods
are worse than others, specifically those that get stuck in your teeth. So avoid crunchy sweets such as hard toffee or peanut
brittle, as well as chewy ones such as caramel and toffee. Also, steer clear of sugary foods that you take a long time to eat, such
as lollipops or even cough lozengers. Because the sugar is in your mouth for a longer period of time, there’s more change of damage.
Read about hidden sugar here
Good: fibre-rich foods
All that chewing gets your saliva pumping in your mouth and that’s good for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva is key in
reducing the negative effects caused by eating sugar or starch, too, but it only really starts working about 20 minutes after you’ve
eaten something. So a good idea is to eat an apple, for example, about 20 minutes before you tuck into something starchy or sweet, to help prevent dental problems.
Read more about fibre here
Bad: drying drinks or foods
Alcohol, caffeine-based drinks and also some types of medication can make your mouth drier so make gum disease and tooth decay more
likely. Counteract the effect by drinking plenty of water, as well as chewing gum and eating fibre-rich foods as outlined above.
Exceptions to the caffeine-based drinks rule, are green tea and black tea, which contain polyphenols that fight plaque bacteria.
Find out more about staying hydrated
Good: chewing gum
It’s got to be sugar-free but chewing on a piece of gum helps produce a lot more saliva and that helps fight off the acid effect caused when sugar or starch comes into contact with the plaque on your teeth.
Bad: starchy foods
Sugar gets a lot of bad press and that’s as it should be – it’s the biggest culprit when it comes to tooth decay and disease – but
starchy foods have a similar effect on plaque on your teeth, producing enamel-damaging acid. So be aware of this when eating foods
such as soft breads as well as starchy foods that get stuck in your teeth like crisps or pretzels.
Good: Cheese or yogurt
To neutralise that acid in your mouth dairy products are a quick and easy fix. Research from the US Academy of General Dentistry
found that cheese created a protective layer around teeth and also encouraged the production of alkaline saliva, helping protect
against acid. A great excuse to tuck into a post-dessert cheese platter!