Don’t let your New Year detox damage your teeth

New Year detox We all start the New Year full of good intentions, but even the healthy ones can backfire if we’re not careful. Too much detox can be bad for our teeth. In our eagerness to lose weight we often sacrifice food rich in calcium such as milk and cheese. Gorging on fruit and fruit juice may increase your vitamin intake, but the acid in fruit can create havoc on our tooth enamel. As the daughter of a dentist, tooth care was drilled into me at an early age. Sweets were strictly rationed and had to be eaten straight after meals and chewing gum was banned outright (when the other girls started smoking behind the bike sheds I was experimenting with Wrigley Juicy Fruit). And God forbid if anyone offered me a Polo – my dad reserved a special ring of hell for parents who issued hard mints to their children before a dental appointment to freshen their breath. Oh, the mortification of being the only kid in the school to be sent off to the bathroom to clean my teeth after lunch. It worked though – look no fillings!

So with the help of dental payment plan company Denplan’s chief dental officer, Roger Matthews, I’ve come up with five tooth-friendly tips for those of us who are about to start the New Year off with a detox:

1. Don’t ban cheese completely

“It’s rich in calcium, which promotes healthy teeth, and it also balances out the PH in your mouth, which lessens the damaging effects of acid on tooth enamel and helps kill bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease,” says Roger.

2. Do snack on unsalted nuts rather than crisps

“Peanuts (unsalted if possible) contain calcium and vitamin D, both vital for oral health as well as your general health,” says Roger. “Walnuts also contain zinc fibre, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, vitamin E and B6, potassium and zinc – all of which play an important role in keeping our teeth and gums healthy.”

3. Do eat more raw veg

They aren’t as acidic as fruit. “Broccoli, and carrots in particular, are great for your oral health as they contain vitamin A, which helps strengthens the tooth enamel,” said Roger. “And eat vegetables raw when possible because they massage your gums, which encourages blood flow and cleans your teeth too.”

4. Do cut out sugar

“Sugars are a prime cause of the acidic biofilm that causes dental decay. Acid resulting from frequent consumption of refined sugar dissolves the minerals essential for healthy teeth,”
explains Roger.

5. Do cut out fizzy drinks

Fizzy drinks are loaded with sugar, and even sugar-free or diet drinks are still acidic and in excess can cause tooth enamel to erode away. “But, if you can’t resist them, use a straw as this will lessen direct contact with your teeth,” says Roger.

So are you planning to start 2013 full of good and healthy intentions? Let me know how you get on.

Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn

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