• The saying “you’re never fully dressed without a smile”  is one we all can relate to, especially when a nasty pain or discomfort in the mouth area comes to visit. At this moment we are ready to quit the biscuits and set up a floss routine.  

    The first step to any health journey is to pay close attention to what we eat and how that can affect not only our bodies but our teeth as well.   

    Dr Bongiwe Nhlanguela, also known as “Dr Bee” is not just an ordinary dentist, but an individual who strives to inspire and make a change one tooth at a time. Her journey within the dental industry both in the public and private sector has set her on a continuous path to transform and spread awareness about oral hygiene and the importance of accessibility to oral health.  

     Through her three practices, Dr Bee demonstrates perseverance and determination by continuing to empower women within dentistry and oral health. Each practice serves a beacon of excellence, prioritising inclusivity and accessibility. On social media she spreads knowledge about Oral Health Awareness and diversity within dentistry. If you’d like some tips on how to better manage your oral health, follow her social media series “Tooth Be Told”.  


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    A post shared by Dr. B. Nhlangulela 👩🏾‍⚕️🇿🇦 (@doctor_bee_)

    Dr Bee fills the gap to our tooth questions:  

     What foods are bad for our teeth in the long-term? (In terms of sensitivity, breakage and colour) 

    – Sugar & Carbohydrates- sweets, biscuits, cakes etc. These foods can attack the enamel of teeth and can cause cavities. They also maintain the optimum PH levels for bacterial survival in the mouth.  

    – Hard foods- cause breakage, fracture, can chip teeth especially teeth that have been filled. If you have existing cavities and teeth that are not well taken care of by brushing twice a day or visiting the dentist. The fluoride in our toothpaste makes our enamel stronger and resistant to bacteria. Dentists can repair teeth with damaged enamels to ensure that the tooth is also resistant to breakage 

    – Foods that are high in pigment: foods high in pigment like black coffee, tea, curries and red wine. These foods may predispose us to discolouration of the tooth by the pigment sticking to our tooth surfaces. Discolouration can also be a sign of tooth decay. 

    sweets and desserts
    Image: Supplied

    What can we do to prevent these types of foods from causing damage?  

     I recommend moderation when it comes to eating so-called “bad foods” for our teeth. We are all human and after all and complete avoidance of sugars, carbs and hard foods is not always possible.  

     When eating sugars, it is recommended that you consume in one sitting so that the mouth can return to a neutral PH that is not conducive to bacteria. I also recommend rinsing after eating with a couple of sips of water to wash away excess foods that can hide in the gums, cheeks and between the teeth. 

     Brushing twice a day for 2 minutes with either a soft manual or electric toothbrush and thorough flossing to get to the hidden areas our toothbrush cannot get to. Visiting the dentist at least twice a year is important so they can perform a professional dental clean as well to ensure that if there are any issues it can be dealt with before they become more serious.  

    What are the symptoms people can face if dealing with tooth discomfort due to certain foods? 

     Tooth sensitivity, cavity hole in the tooth, chipped teeth, toothache, discolouration teeth, tooth decay, food getting stuck between teeth.  

    biscuits and tea
    Image: Pexels

    What types of foods are beneficial towards good oral health?  

     Drinking lots of water is my best advice alongside leading a healthy diet that prioritises moderation. Other great foods include:  






    -apples & pears  


    For any dental concerns visit Dr Bee’s practices:

    Constantia Kloof 2nd Floor Exp Medical Centre Vlakhaas Avenue, Constantia Kloof

    Operating hours : Monday – Friday : 08:00 – 16:00

    Saturday 09:00 – 13:00

    Sandton UMED Sandton Medical Suites, 134 Grayston Dr, Sandton, 2031

    Operating hours : Monday – Friday : 09:00 – 16:00

    Saturday 09:00 – 13:00

    Pretoria Lumidigm Medical Centre, 317 Pretorius Street, Pretoria, 0002

    Operating hours : Monday – Friday : 09:00 – 16:00

    Saturday :09:00 – 13:00

     Email bookings[email protected]

    ALSO SEE: Bad breath? Here are foods to avoid, foods to that might help + experts tips on oral hygiene 

    Bad breath? Here are foods to avoid, foods to that might help + experts tips on oral hygiene

    Feature image: Pexels