March 29, 2022

March is National Nutrition Month, designed to help us reflect on what healthy eating can do for our lives and bodies. The right vitamins and minerals boost your immunity and boost your brain function, but how can nutrition affect your oral health?

The health of your mouth is an excellent indicator of your overall wellbeing. Eating and drinking the right things can not just make your teeth sparkle but even help keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay, staving off potentially life-threatening conditions like heart disease and stroke. Win-win!


So, which foods and drinks help to keep your mouth in top shape?

Cheese is one of the best things you can eat for your teeth. It’s low in sugar and rich in casein, a protein that strengthens tooth enamel. Its phosphate levels also balance the pH in your mouth. 

Meats contain many nutrients that your teeth crave, and the chewing process stimulates saliva production to prevent cavities and gum disease. 

Apples are fibrous, which helps clean teeth by brushing away plaque and warding off bad breath. 

Water consumption is always a good idea. Most tap water is fluoridated, helping to fight cavities and strengthen your enamel. Sipping water washes away food particles and bacteria to protect your teeth and gums.

Leafy greens are rich in teeth and gum-loving vitamins and minerals like calcium and folic acid.


And which ones should you avoid?

Making the right nutritional choices also involves knowing what to avoid. You can consume as many of the above foods and drinks as you like – it won’t make a difference if your mouth is full of processed, sugary, acidic ones too. Try to cut down on:

Toffee and other chewy, hard sweets stick around in your teeth and stimulate bacteria production, which in turn leads to plaque and eventually tartar. 

Fizzy drinks contain acid, even if they’re sugar-free – this erodes your enamel and causes cavities.

Pickles or other vinegar-based foods are also high in acid.  

Red wine contains tannins that leave residue on your teeth and cause surface stains. 

Don’t worry if you can’t eliminate these foods and drinks from your diet completely. Reducing your consumption can have a very positive effect on your oral health. If you eat or drink anything high in sugar or acid, remember to wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth – your enamel will be at its weakest and the bristles could cause damage.


How can I reverse the damage caused by foods and drinks?

If you think food and drinks have caused damage to your teeth, come in for a check-up at one of our clinics in Clapham, Balham or Wandsworth. We will assess your oral health, give you nutritional tips and plan a course of treatment to resolve any issues.