Australians are being urged to focus on their diet when it comes to oral health, with research suggesting nutrition is rated last as a driver of quality of life.
According to Bupa Pulse Check, which investigates attitudes toward health and well-being, 80 per cent of people consume an unstructured diet, leading to increased snacking or dining on fast food.
It also found that four out of ten people report that their lifestyles do not include good nutrition levels.
Bupa head dentist Dr Cathryn Madden said a healthy smile depends on good nutrition, particularly regarding what you drink.
“It might sound very simple, but drinking more water and swapping out soft drinks or energy drinks can have a major positive impact on your oral health. It prevents dry mouth, washes food particles away, protects against staining and the fluoride in tap water keeps your teeth strong.
It might sound very simple but drinking more water and swapping out soft drinks or energy drinks can have a major positive impact on your oral health. It prevents dry mouth, washes food particles away, protects against staining and the fluoride in tap water keeps your teeth strong," said Dr Madden.
“While everyone enjoys an occasional snack, excess intake of added sugars leads not only to tooth decay but is also associated with other health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. This is why it’s always best to plan your daily food intake and eat healthy, balanced meals which can help avoid the temptation to snack or consume sugar-rich fast food instead,” she continued.
The pulse check has revealed that 57 per cent of people are taking vitamins or supplements regularly.
“Taking additional vitamins and supplements can be beneficial for many people, however from an oral health perspective there is no substitute for eating fruits and vegetables which are high in fiber, which increase saliva flow, neutralise acids and help to clean the teeth.
“If you’ve noticed changes in your mouth, it’s always a good idea to talk about your diet with your dentist, they will be in the best position to advise on any small issues before they become big ones and will also provide information relating to which parts of your diet could be the culprit… In most cases, people are just a small lifestyle adjustment away from a healthy smile!” added Dr Madden.