Diet and Teeth

What you eat and drink has a big impact on the health of your mouth

For every patient we carry out a diet risk assessment, where we ask a few simple questions about what you eat and drink. For children this is especially important, so we involve them in the process from the age of seven. We want good habits to start from an early age.


Tooth decay damages teeth and leads to fillings and even extractions. Sugar in our diet reacts with bacteria in plaque to form acid, that attacks the teeth and destroys the enamel. If these acid attacks happen too often, the tooth enamel may break down, forming a hole or ‘cavity’. The tooth can then decay more quickly. We have information leaflets at the practice which give you more details about sugar containing foods.


Acidic food and drinks can cause dental erosion, which is the gradual dissolving of the tooth enamel. The lower the pH number, the more acidic the product. Anything with a pH value lower than 7 may cause erosion. Alkalis have a high pH number and cancel out the acid effects of sugars. We have information leaflets at the practice which give a list of common acidic foods and drinks, along with their pH value.

Chewing sugar free gum after meals is a good way to prevent an acid attack from occurring. When chewing, more saliva is produced which contains enzymes that neutralise acid.

Diet Analysis

To help us know exactly what and how often you are consuming sugar and acidic food and drinks, we ask you to complete a diet sheet, which involves you logging what you eat and drink over 3 or more days. These diet sheets are great for finding ‘hidden’ sugars.

Manufacturers are crafty in that they do not always make it obvious that their product contains sugar, even though the ingredients are written on packets. This is because sugar is known by lots of different names like ‘glucose’ and ‘fructose’ for example. Natural foods often contain high amounts of sugars and acid, so are not always the healthy option we think they are when it comes to teeth.

We hope that by working with you and by offering you a few minor suggestions, we can show just how you can have your cake and eat it! We also can give examples of plenty of healthy swaps you can make.

Contact Us

Cwmbran Dental Care
19a Caradoc Road,
NP44 1PP
Get directions

Send us an email

Call us: 01633 877618