Your teeth are at risk of decay after eating or drinking sugary foods or drinks for approximately 45 minutes. Those should be reduced and restricted to mealtimes.
The foods and drinks containing the most sugars are:
- cakes, biscuits, buns, fruit pies, pastries
- table sugar
- sugared breakfast cereals
- fruit in syrup
- fresh fruit juice and smoothies
- any fizzy drinks
- sugared milk drinks, milkshakes, cocoa
- sugar containing alcoholic drinks
- dried fruits e.g. raisins, apricots
- syrups and sauces
- sugar & chocolate confectionary
A lot of “hidden” sugar is found in foods that don’t taste sweet as:
- flavoured crisps
- baked beans
Look at the ingredients list on foods, e.g. maltose, glucose, sucrose, fructose. These all mean sugar.
Antacid tablets, cough/throat sweets, breath mints and any sweets that dissolve slowly in the mouth also contain sugar and can be particularly damaging.
Fizzy drinks, fruit squashes (including those that say ‘no added sugar’), fruit juice and smoothies will all cause decay and acid erosion. Try to only have these drinks at a meal.
In between meals try to drink water or tea/coffee without sugar only.
Fresh fruit should be eaten at meal times ideally. Some fruits such as bananas cause a lot of decay and citrus fruits can cause decay and acid erosion of the teeth.However, for general health it is important to eat 5 portions of fruit or vegetables every day.
General dietary rules for healthy teeth:
- Don’t snack in between meals.
- If you have to snack the best foods are savoury such as: raw carrots, cucumber, celery and peppers, chunk of cheese, plain cheese biscuit such as oat cakes, bread sticks, rice cakes, plain crisps, crumpets, pitta bread.
- Drink plain tap water or tea/coffee without sugar in between meals.
- Don’t eat sugary foods within an hour of bedtime.