Dietary Advice Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fizzy or carbonated drinks including sparkling water are all acidic. They will make the teeth more susceptible to decay, wear and sensitivity. A sensible upper limit would be in the order of four cans per week!
Lucozade and ‘sport’ drinks contain very high levels of sugar combined with some salt and are damaging to teeth.
Blackcurrant drinks have been labelled as very bad in the past, primarily because they used to be given undiluted in special dummies. It led to an aggressive form of decay affecting the front teeth, called ‘bottle decay’, and would turn these teeth black. It is however no different from other sugared drinks.
‘Tooth-Kind’ drinks have no added sugar and are balanced so that they are not acidic. They will contain some fruit sugars and artificial sweeteners.

Acid in food and drinks does not cause decay but softens the teeth and makes them more likely to be damaged by sugar, become sensitive or eroded away.
Examples of acid food and drinks are: all fizzy drinks (including diet drinks and sparkling water), fruit, fruit juices and natural yoghurt. It is not wrong or bad to have any of these foods but everything including fruit should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Highly acidic foods are; Oranges, vinegar, pickles, grapes, lemons and grapefruits.

Fluoride is added to the water in Birmingham. Fluoride will reduce the level of decay in children but dietary supplements should not be included for children in the West Midlands since high levels of fluoride cause a white mottling or staining of the teeth. It is important that children use children’s toothpaste which contains lower levels of fluoride to counterbalance possible swallowing and the development of fluorosis.

Brushing with toothpaste containing fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. Teeth are brushed to also control gum disease and reduce bad odours.
Teeth should be brushed twice daily, after breakfast and after the last meal of the day.

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