Britons are worryingly unconcerned about the effect their diet could have on their oral health, with men significantly less interested in the impact their choice of food and drinks has on their dental health than women.
According to new research, even though the majority of respondents recognised the link between dietary choices and oral health, almost three-quarters of them still choose to ignore it. However, nearly one in three Brits were completely unaware that some foods and drinks could be bad for their oral health, the study also revealed. This means that millions of people in the UK are putting their oral health at risk by consuming excessive amounts of sugary foods and drinks on a daily basis.
Dental professionals are urging people to think twice before reaching for a fizzy drink or chocolate bar. People should be educated on the benefits of healthy eating and encouraged to make responsible dietary choices, especially when it comes to younger children, says Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation.
A poor diet can result in a number of oral health problems, such as tooth decay, erosion and bad breath. Every time people consume sugary food or drinks, their teeth are exposed to bacterial attack for about one hour. Saliva, which is the body’s natural defense mechanism against such attacks, needs an hour to neutralise acids from food and drinks; if people eat or drink sugary things throughout the day there is not enough time for the oral cavity to be cleaned and recover from the attack. This results in tooth decay and possibly gum disease, experts explain.
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