Everybody knows that getting the proper nutrition is vital for maintaining a healthy body and keeping your insides and outsides in shape.But did anyone stop and wonder just exactly what kind of nutrition we need for our teeth? Chances are if you ask your friends how they maintain healthy teeth , they’re replies will be along the lines of ” by brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist whereas really they should be saying “by getting my vitamins , fluoride, calcium, as little sugar as possible and a whole alphabet of minerals thrown in for good measure”. We can’t all seriously believe that healthy teeth are maintained simply by brushing and flossing every day, in order for teeth to be truly healthy they need a number of key minerals and vitamins every single day.
Did you know a poor diet can lead to gum disease? And did you know that the missing link to prevention and treatment of gum disease is almost always ignored and is poor nutrition? No of course you didn’t because nutrition for your teeth isn’t widely talked about. You don’t hear of celebrities only eating certain foods for their teeth and their certainly isn’t a new Zone book out based around what foods you should be eating to maintain healthy teeth and gums . So how do we learn what our teeth need ? Well read on….
Everyone knows we need vitamins to stay healthy. Thats a given. But did you ever think that perhaps all those vitamins where playing a detrimental role in maintaining good oral hygiene too? Heres a rundown of how you can keep your teeth healthy through your diet!
*Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under acid attack for up to one hour. The sugar in the foods your eating react with the bacteria in plaque and produce a harmful acid that eats away at your teeth. So its important that you limit how much sugary food your are eating or keep it strictly to mealtimes. It limits the amount of time your mouth is at risk.
*Perhaps you have an exceptionally sweet tooth and you really find it hard to cut out sweets during the day. There is a way you can limit the damage it does to your teeth. After your snack , rinse your mouth will water , eat a small piece of cheese or chew some sugar free gum. The cheese provides calcium to replace the minerals lost by bacteria produced acid and helps to even the bacterial balance in your mouth. The chewing gum stimulates the flow of saliva in your mouth which helps wash away sugars from your teeth.
*All sugars can cause decay…we all know that. Sugar however can come in many forms , including sucrose, fructose and glucose and they will all damage your teeth. Many processed foods you eat regularly have sugar in them, and the higher up it appears on the list of ingredients – the more sugar there is in the product! When your out shopping have a quick look at the ingredients of products your unsure about . Better to know what your putting into your mouth and effectively onto your teeth than find out 6 months later when your visiting the dentist to have your tooth filled.
*OK so maybe we occasionally buy snacks for our sweet tooth but they say “no added sugar” so that makes them healthy ? WRONG…. it may say no added sugar…but what about the sugar already in the product. Many people make the mistake of assuming no added sugar means no sugar when the truth is it could be a product with a vast amount of sugar sometimes listed as carbohydrates.If your unsure about an item speak to your dentist , he might be able to shed some light on those “danger foods ” to avoid.
*The best drinks for teeth are plain water or milk. Drinking coffee no matter how much you love your caffeine is a bad idea if you want pearly whites because just like tea, coffee stains your teeth. Drinks high in caffeine also inhibit your saliva’s ability to combat tooth decay. And if your mouth cant combat tooth decay…well its going to be lots of visits to the dentist in the near future!
*While your teeth need plenty of fresh produce and healthy food they also need plenty of vitamins to help keep them strong and sparkling. Supplements together with good oral hygiene can aid in decreasing the incidence of dental cavities, bad breath and gum disease. Vitamins such as Vitamin C, flavanoids and co enzyme Q10 are powerful antioxidants , they work together to protect your gums against cell damage and help speed up healing . And Vitamin C isn’t the only vitamins you need. You also need Vitamins A , B, D , E and K. Oh yes its not quite as simple as just vitamin C!
*However as important as vitamins are, they can do nothing for you without the right minerals. Vitamins cant be assimilated without the aid of minerals and although the body can make a few vitamins, it cannot manufacture a single mineral. This is why its so important you incorporate them into your diet.Minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, magnesium ,and fluorine are all detrimental to your teeth staying healthy. Try to find foods that have as many of these minerals as possible so that you can get your Recommended daily allowance and keep those teeth and gums happy!
So there you have it. A brief but detailed overview of nutrition for your teeth. Just remember your teeth have to last you a lifetime. Sure all that sugary food might sound like a great idea as a child but you wont find it so great when your being fitted for dentures at 40. Your teeth go through alot every single day…just think of how much you eat, and you’ll realize why they need to stay strong. They cant stay strong on their own, you have a part to play too. They say you are what you eat…..this couldn’t be more true when talking about your teeth. If you treat them well, they’ll most certainly treat you well.