Your general health and resistance to many diseases is reliant on a healthy, balanced diet. Eating and drinking habits can also affect the health of your teeth.
Plaque is a soft, sticky deposit that forms on the surface of your teeth. It is made up of bacteria, which mostly feed on sugar from the food and drink you consume, and the plaque acids attack the enamel of the tooth causing tooth decay. Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under attack for up to an hour.
The sugars that cause most decay are those added to food and drink during manufacture, processing or preparation - not those naturally present in foods such as milk, fruit and vegetables.
Acidic drinks erode the enamel surface of the teeth, exposing the dentine underneath and making them susceptible . Fizzy drinks (including fizzy mineral water), fruit juices and fruit squashes, pickles and even citrus fruits themselves are all acidic to varying degrees. Consume them in moderation. Do not clean your teeth immediately after such food as it can contribute to brushing away the enamel.
It is the frequency with which you consume sugary snacks and drinks that matters most. If you can restrict them for eating with a meal - in one go - that is significantly better for your teeth than snacking on unhealthy food and drinks throughout the day, between mealtimes. Saliva production is high at mealtimes and it can help neutralise plaque acids.