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Latest diet fads could be damaging to our teeth


Whilst eating healthy food might be good for your body in general, dentists are warning that some food fads could actually be damaging to our teeth, even if they are good for our health. According to Dr Sameer Patel, there are several foods that should be avoided if we want to maintain good dental health.

Dr Patel, who works for Elleven Dental London, spoke to The Express about the risks people take when they switch to so-called healthy diets. Products that could stain or damage your teeth and those that have a high acidic content – such as grapefruit – should be avoided, according to Dr Patel, because they could cause enamel erosion and eventually tooth decay. This condition can also cause increased sensitivity in the teeth and this can be difficult to treat permanently.

Smoothies are also on the list of things to avoid, even though they are seen as being good for you. The problem with smoothies is their high fruit content, which again can cause problems with enamel erosion and decay. Dr Patel recommends drinking through a straw and waiting at least half an hour before brushing, to allow the enamel to harden again.



Could electric toothbrushes be damaging to the enamel?


The Daily Mail has raised concerns that many people could be unwittingly damaging their teeth by using an electric toothbrush, basing their story on several cases where patients have experienced sensitivity, gum recession, and bleeding from the gums after brushing. Some dentists have suggested that these problems could be caused by over-brushing – people brushing too hard and too fast with the electronic brush.

This may come as a surprise to many people, as electronic brushes are extremely popular and thought to be more efficient than manual brushes. However, Dr Sameer Patel, clinical director at Elleven Dental in London, suggested that it is not the actual product to blame, but the way people are using it to brush their teeth. He said that ‘hardly anyone knows how to use them correctly’ and advised people to aim their brush towards the gums at a 45 degree angle, rather than moving it ‘furiously’ across the teeth themselves, as this can cause erosion of the enamel and gum damage. These conditions will make the teeth more sensitive if the practice is continued.

Dr Patel told the paper that enamel cannot regrow and the treatment for gum recession can be ‘costly and uncomfortable’ so people should re-learn a proper brushing technique under the guidance of a dental professional or revert to a manual brush that is going to do less damage.


Takeaway food can stain and damage teeth


According to a top Harley Street dentist there are many ingredients in takeaway dishes that can damage our teeth as well as putting our general health at risk if consumed in large amounts. Not only will things like Indian and Chinese takeaways affect our weight and general health if eaten too regularly, they can also lead to dental staining and tooth decay.

Dr Sameer Patel, of Harley Street’s Elleven practice, said that the dark colorants in curry and dishes containing soy sauce can stain the surface of the tooth and opting for lighter coloured food is advisable. Dr Patel says that ‘anything that would stain a white t-shirt’ is going to cause discolouration of the tooth enamel.

Italian food, such as takeaway pizza’s and pasta, can cause acid erosion due to the refined carbs that contain simple sugars; these things cause a surge of acid in the mouth which can damage the enamel irreparably over time. British staple dish fish & chips has also come under fire because of the amount of starch in the potatoes and the battered fish. Dr Sameer said that ‘sugar can come in many different forms and the batter on the fish and associated sauces, such as ketchup, are culprits for having a high sugar content.’

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