Taking a break is important. Grabbing a bite to eat is crucial too, helping to recharge batteries and fuel your mind and body for the afternoon ahead.
All very well, but when it comes to teeth, could your lunch break be doing more harm than good?
Here cosmetic dental experts at the Harley Street Smile Clinic, take a look at why teeth may need a timeout from lunch.
Most of us know that the ideal is to brush our teeth after every meal. Not an issue for breakfast and dinner as you’re most likely eating at home where your trusty toothbrush is within easy reach.
But lunch is a different story.
In the middle of the day you’re on the go – at the office, out and about and nowhere near your toothbrush. This means residual food and drink are able to attack teeth and gums, breaking down enamel and, over time, contributing to tooth decay.
So what can you do?
· Pick lunch wisely
Can’t decide what to have for lunch today? Some foods actively invite tooth decay (yes, office birthday cake, we’re talking about you!), whilst others help to fight against plaque. Which is why it’s worth giving lunch some thought before randomly grabbing the latest meal deal.
When it comes to filling choices, cheese is ideal. Laden with calcium (which we all know is great for teeth) and phosphates, dairy items help to replenish minerals lost by eating other foods. Cheese also contains enzymes proven to help neutralise damaging bacteria left in your mouth after eating.
Proteins are important at lunchtime too. High in enamel protecting phosphorous, chicken and fish contain vitamin B3, which helps to support healthy teeth and gums.
Bread wise, it’s best to go for whole grain. This contains less sugar and more nutrition. Same goes for pasta if you’re not big on sandwiches.
Fill up the rest of your lunchbox with things like almonds, natural yogurt, and fresh fruit and veg. Celery, carrot sticks, and slices of cucumber are all excellent. So too are melon slices, apples, and pears. With a high water content and packed full of vitamins and minerals, fresh fruit and veg help to generate saliva and keep teeth and gums clean.
· Drink water
Drinking plenty of water helps to keep the mind and body hydrated throughout the day. It’s crucial for concentration – it’s also vital for healthy teeth. By washing away leftover food particles and enzymes, water helps to keep teeth clear of nasties until you can next brush.
· Chew sugar-free gum
Ok, so not a good look when you’re sat in a meeting. But at your desk, or in the car driving to your next appointment, it’s possible to discreetly chew gum – and it’s worth it. Great for encouraging the mouth to produce salvia, sugar-free gum helps to remove any traces of food from your mouth and is a practical way to clean teeth on the go.
· Carry a travel toothbrush
There’s no escaping that brushing teeth after mealtimes is the best solution. So why not carry a travel toothbrush in your bag or keep one in a drawer at work?
If you feel too self-conscious to whip out a toothbrush in communal loos, then how about having a quick rinse with mouthwash instead? Quick, quiet, and a great way to refresh your mouth, mouthwash helps to rinse away trapped food particles from between teeth and keep nasty bacteria at bay.
Lunch break salvation
Guilty of one too many sugar clad snacks to get you through the day or regular caffeine hits to power you up for a meeting? If lunchtime has left its toll on your teeth, it’s not too late to do something about it.
At the Harley Street Smile Clinic, we offer a wide range of corrective treatments, helping to return your smile to its former glory, including our hugely popular mini smile makeover.
This signature treatment not only restores the whiteness of your smile by removing any stains or yellowing, it also includes subtle reshaping to gently smooth away any imperfections. Leaving you with a brighter, more balanced and attractive smile.
And the best bit? Typically taking less than 60 minutes, the whole treatment can fit neatly into your lunch hour!
To find out more, or for a free simulation of how your teeth could look with a mini smile makeover, get in touch with the team.