Is it eating o’clock yet?

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A healthy diet is not just about what you eat – it’s also a matter of how often you eat.

Every time you eat or drink something, the bacteria in your mouth start to produce acids that may harm the surface of your teeth. That’s when saliva comes to your rescue. In about half an hour, the acid attack is neutralised, but to fully recover, your teeth need a few hours’ rest. If your teeth are under constant attack from acids, caries will start to develop with decay as a result.

The ideal eating pattern during a day includes three main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – and two snacks. (Some people may need to eat more frequently due to a medical or other condition.) Constant sipping on a beverage is not to recommend from a caries perspective either. Drink water when you’re thirsty – it won’t impact your teeth negatively.

Your choice of food should mainly be based on nutritional needs. Food with added sugar is not good from any viewpoint, though you can, of course, indulge yourself from time to time. Keep in mind that it’s not just the sugary food that causes an acid attack, but next to anything you consume. If you feel a desire for something extra, a good tip is to have it with one of your main meals. Your teeth will be happier, and you will be healthier!


Fact-checked by DDS Anna Nilvéus Olofsson.