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Can certain foods improve your dental health?

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Can certain foods improve your dental health?

August 2-8, 2021 is Dental Health Week, and we are getting behind this year’s campaign to “Keep your smile for life”.

Maintaining good oral health and eating a healthy, balanced diet go hand in hand. We’ve broken down some of the key facts for you about eating well to maintain good teeth and gum health.

Tooth decay (also known as dental caries) is the breakdown of the tooth enamel caused by bacteria and acid production. Eating too much sugar contributes to this process, while eating dairy foods (high in calcium, phosphate and casein), and food and drinks high in fluoride (e.g. fluoridated water), fibre (e.g. fruit and vegetables) and polyphenols (e.g. tea) can help to prevent tooth decay.

Sugar

Sugar feeds the bacteria on the surface of our teeth, leading to more acid production and speeding up the breakdown of tooth enamel. To limit this (and for other health benefits), the World Health Organisation recommends that <10% of our energy intake per day come from free sugars. However, almost half of Australians (47%) eat more than this.

Limiting sugar intake can be achieved by getting most of our intake from the five food groups and limiting intake of extra or discretionary foods that are high in sugar (e.g. soft drink, lollies). Also by making simple swaps such as drinking water when thirsty instead of soft drink.

Check out our recipes which are packed full of foods from the five food groups, including our:

Dairy foods

Dairy foods, including milk, yoghurt and cheese, are rich sources of the nutrients calcium, phosphate and casein. These nutrients work to rebuild tooth enamel, and therefore help to prevent tooth decay.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend eating between 2½ and 4 serves of dairy foods per day depending on age and gender.

Try out our recipes for ways to get more dairy into your day, including our:

Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that works to prevent tooth decay by repairing and strengthening tooth enamel, and working in combination with calcium and phosphate.

In Australia, a large percentage of the water supply has fluoride added and this is the best source of fluoride, as well as toothpaste, and foods made using fluoridated water.

Fibre

Foods that are high in fibre require lots of chewing, which stimulates the production of more saliva. Saliva has antibacterial properties which helps to fight against tooth and gum decay.

Fibre rich foods include fruit, vegetables and grain foods, particularly when you eat the skin of fruit or vegetables and wholegrain or wholemeal varieties of grain foods.

Try out our:

Polyphenols

Polyphenols are a plant based chemical found in many different forms and in many different foods. Polyphenols have antioxidant properties, and work against tooth decay by inhibiting bacteria and the acid production process.

A high intake of polyphenols can be achieved by eating a variety of foods from the five food groups, particularly herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tea and coffee.

Check out our:


Your Personal Healthy Eating Quiz

What you eat or don’t eat affects how you look, feel and perform. Take our short quiz to find out what foods you could introduce to help you be your best.

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What is healthy eating?

Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

  1. vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. fruit
  3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
  4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients and eating a variety of foods from the list above helps to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease.

How do I improve my diet?

If you want to improve your diet you have come to the right place. By completing the Healthy Eating Quiz you’ll receive instant personalised feedback and a report on your diet quality to highlight any areas where you can improve your overall eating habits. Your score is based on the frequency and variety of the foods consumed from the five major food groups mentioned above. No Money No Time can help you improve your score by providing tips, goals and suggestions. On top of this we will provide quick, cheap and healthy recipes as well as credible answers to diet hacks, myths and FAQ’s.

Is my diet healthy?

Dietary habits are different between people. Some people choose to follow a particular diet (i.e., Keto diet or vegan diet) while some have to make changes due to certain food restrictions or health conditions. If you want to know if what you usually eat is healthy, then do the Healthy Eating Quiz today to give you the answers in less than 10 minutes.

Why is healthy eating important?

Your HEQ score and personalised feedback report is based on the frequency and variety of healthy core foods you usually eat. This is important because no single food contains all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Some foods are higher in nutrients than others and people who have a lot of variety in the foods they eat are more likely to be healthy and to stay healthy. In other words, if you can eat a large variety of vegetables as opposed to only 2-3 types of vegetables, the benefits are much greater. This type of diet also helps you to feel better, think better and perform better during your usual daily activities.

Take the Healthy Eating Quiz