Healthy eating Lots of dental problems can be caused by food and drink. Too many carbohydrates (sugars and savoury foods and starches) can cause tooth decay. The bacteria in plaque break down these carbohydrates, producing acids which can cause tooth decay. Certain types of bacteria in plaque can also cause bleeding gums (gingivitis) and if not treated will result in irreversible gum disease. Acids in food and drink can also directly dissolve away the teeth surfaces - this is acid erosion, and can cause profound sensitivity. Good oral hygiene will prevent most dental problems but here are some tips for healthy eating that will help your teeth and gums too: 1. Have fruit/veg instead of carbohydrates. 2. Have cheese with food as this increases saliva flow and washes away plaque acids. 3. Avoid sticky foods that are difficult to wash away. 4. Restrict sugary foods to mealtimes, when there is more saliva, and reduce snacking so not to fuel the bacteria in plaque. 5. Have water/milk instead of juice or fizzy drinks. Good sources of calcium to build strong teeth for children are milk, broccoli and yoghurt.

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