Dietary guidelines are designed to maintain an adequate intake of nutrients and to protect against diet-related disease, particularly cardiovascular disease and obesity. Current population dietary guidelines advocate a reduction in total fat intake, particularly saturated fat intake, to 25–35% of the energy intake and an increased intake of carbohydrate to more than 55% of the dietary energy intake, which should mainly be derived from starch. There is a positive relationship between total sugar intake and the incidence of dental caries where dental hygiene is poor and exposure to fluoride is low. However, this relationship is stronger for frequency of consumption of sugary foods. The frequent consumption of acidic food and beverages should be also avoided as this can result in erosion of the tooth enamel. Risk of caries can be minimised by good oral hygiene, appropriate exposure to fluoride and by restricting the intake sugar containing snacks between meals to no more than four occasions per day. A need for randomized controlled trials to assess the effectiveness of dietary modification on oral health in adults is identified.

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