Fad Diets and Implications on Oral Health

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Tuesday, 16 July, 2019

Fad diet beliefs that are bad for your teeth

Whether you’re a fan of low-carb, Paleo, Keto or a juice-only cleanse – fad diets can have an impact on more than just your weight. While these diets require you to think constantly about what’s going in your mouth, far less attention gets paid to what’s happening inside your mouth as a result. 

Let’s look at some common diet beliefs and the effect on your teeth: 

‘A shot of apple cider vinegar is good for your gut’ 

While apple cider vinegar may be good for your gut, it’s terrible for your teeth. The high acidity attacks your tooth enamel, which can damage both the enamel and dentin (the softer layer of the tooth just underneath). What makes it worse still is how people tend to consume apple cider vinegar – either by gargling, sipping or taking a quick shot – and brushing immediately after to get rid of the taste. 

Brushing straight away can cause even more damage because the tooth enamel is already weakened after contact with the highly acidic liquid. If you must take apple cider vinegar, it’s better to swish with water and wait half before brushing to avoid removing enamel while it’s still vulnerable.

‘A juice cleanse is a quick and harmless detox’

The juice cleanse trend is another fad that will leave your teeth worse off. Again, juices tend to be highly acidic, which can damage tooth enamel. They are also high in sugar – in many cases worse than sugary soft drinks.

Another issue is that by consuming all your energy in liquid form, you are missing out on chewing. Chewing stimulates saliva production in the mouth – which helps ward off many other dental problems like dry mouth. Too many fluids can lead to a build up of plaque and higher risk of cavities. 

‘Eat smaller meals more regularly to lose weight’

While eating smaller meals more frequently can keep minimise overeating, frequent snacking can be bad for your teeth. Eating between meals increases the time that your teeth are exposed to food. If the foods contain a lot of sugar or even natural sugars (like most snack foods), you’ll be at a greater risk for tooth decay. 

If you do snack, make sure that your snack is healthy and low in sugar. Try to brush your teeth after snacking if possible. If you cannot brush, chewing a sugar free gum and/or rinsing with water can help remove some of the sugars. 

‘Low carb diets are better for you’

Fans of the Atkins or Paleo diets will know all about saying no to sugar. However, while restricting carbohydrates often cuts out many foods commonly linked to tooth decay, avoiding fruit and vegetables altogether is bad for overall dental health. 

Eating crunchy fruit and vegetables gives your teeth and gums a workout. Eliminating these types of food from your dental diet for long periods can lead to serious gum disease, cavities and bad breath as plaque and bacteria can get trapped along the gum line. 

 

Search ineedadentist.com to find a dentist near you who can advise on how your diet may be affecting your teeth.

Dr Dennis Kwon is a Gold Coast local who graduated from Dentistry at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. Although Dennis was born in Sydney, he is of Korean heritage and fluent in reading, speaking and writing Korean. While Dennis enjoys all aspects of dentistry, he has a special passion in oral surgery, crown and bridge, TMJ and children’s dentistry. He is a motivated, thorough and confident aspiring to make every patient feel comfortable and deliver them a healthy and beautiful smile. When he is not at work, Dennis loves going to the movies, singing, is training in several martial arts and has even represented at a national level.