Nutrition & Lifestyle Factors
Diet and nutrition
A healthy diet is good for your general health and your dental health. The foods you eat and the way you eat affects your dental health.
Bacteria feed on starches and sugars that are found in many foods you eat. This produces an acid that creates plaque. Plaque attacks the tooth enamel, eventually leading to decay.
Hard candies and sticky foods can cause damage to the teeth or dental work (chips, cracks, etc.). Sucking on sugary candies also allows sugars to linger in the mouth—promoting the development of plaque.
Acidic foods and drinks (such as pop) can breakdown the enamel (outer layer) of the tooth.
Grazing throughout the day can increase the exposure of your mouth to decay causing bacteria. During meals saliva build-up in your mouth helps to protect your teeth.
Eat a nutritious diet including calcium rich foods, dairy, lean proteins, nuts, crunchy fruits and vegetables
Limit snacks and sugar-filled treats, particularly hard candies and sticky foods.
Think about what you drink. Choose water instead of drinks that are high in sugar and/or acidic such as fruit juices, pop and milk.
Reduce the number of times you eat during the day. Saliva produced during meals helps to protect your teeth.
When possible, brush your teeth after eating or rinse with water.
Other lifestyle factors
Many of the choices you make in your life can impact your general and dental health.
Smoking: Whether smoked or chewed, tobacco products can contribute to oral cancer, stain teeth and cause bad breath. Avoid smoking and if you do smoke, consider quitting. For help visit the BC Healthy Living Alliance or QuitNow BC for information and helpful resources.
Piercings: Piercing your lip or tongue can lead to infection and cracked/chipped teeth (caused by the jewellery). Speak to your dentist about proper care to prevent infections and avoid damage.
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