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Dental Health Week: Getting The Right Balance - By Dr. Ruth

28th July 2020

Getting The Right Balance - Dr. Ruth Smith

Like all things in life, getting the balance right when it comes to your oral health is key to a healthy mouth free from decay.

Too much BAD and not enough of the FAB can lead to poor oral health and more trips to the dentist to get you back on the right track.

So, what is the BAD?

BAD stands for:

Bacteria – our mouth contain heaps of bacteria that like to eat away at the sugar and carbohydrate left on our teeth from meals, snacks, drinks, and poor cleaning.

Absence of saliva – a dry mouth causes the dental plaque to become more sticky and harder to remove, giving all that acid producing bacteria more of a chance to cling to it and eat it!

Diet – poor choices of food and drink including diets high in sugar, acid and carbohydrate lead to demineralisation of the tooth surface, a low saliva PH and the perfect environment for the bacteria to start the decay process.

So now we know the BAD, let us look at the FAB. This stands for:

Fluoride – brushing effectively with a fluoride containing toothpaste twice a day suppresses the production of acid and bacteria in our mouths, promotes remineralisation of early enamel lesions and strengthens teeth. Also, fluoride in our water plays an important role in our mouths defence from decay. Despite common beliefs there is no scientific evidence of any adverse effects of water fluoridation, in fact it has been shown that fluoridation prevents at least 25% of tooth decay in adults and children.

Always read the label – you’d be surprised how many sugars and acids are hidden in everyday foods and drinks we consider healthy. Did you know soda water can actually cause significant dental enamel erosion due to all those bubbles, or that a single cup of low-fat yoghurt contains 11 teaspoons of sugar? That’s almost double a woman’s recommended daily intake in just one cup! It is important to know exactly what you’re eating and drinking so you can minimise sugar and acid intake and the easiest way is by reading the labels of foods and drinks we buy for ourselves and our families.

Boost your saliva – saliva contains high levels of calcium, fluoride and phosphate which help protect your teeth from decay. The more lubricated our mouths, the better the effects so it’s a good idea to drink mostly water in the day to keep hydrated and limit any sugary drinks to mealtimes only. Highly caffeinated drinks, although made from water, can actually dehydrate us so these should be drunk alongside water too. Sugar-free chewing gum can be used to help stimulate saliva flow but if age, medications or illness have caused you to have a particularly dry mouth then its important to talk to your dentist about additional products available specifically to treat dry mouth symptoms. The drier your mouth the more likely you are to have issues with your teeth and gums as well as suffer from bad breath. Simply carrying water and sipping regularly throughout the day can really make a difference.

So, it makes sense that we need to limit the BAD and maximise the FAB in our mouths to maintain great oral health!

Come and see Dr. Ruth today to help get your oral health back on track!
Make an appointment online or phone (07) 4723 8100 to book your dental health visit today!
Dr. Ruth Smith

Dental Health Week occurs in the first full week of August every year. This year's topic is "How Much Sugar is Hiding in Your Trolley?"
We will be launching a new blog article for every day of Dental Health Week to help educate you on sugar-related topics and its effect on your oral health. Head to our social media page on Facebook for more fun and engaging posts about Dental Health Week!

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