Diet and nutrition are very important for oral health, as well as our general health. Dr. Fagan at Fingal Dental Surgery can advise you on the kinds of foods and drinks to avoid if you have sensitive or problematic teeth or gums.
There’s a lot you can do to control your diet to improve your oral health by eating nutritionally-rich foods to aid the health of your teeth and gums.
Keeping your tooth enamel tough
Tooth enamel is quite hard; it’s actually the hardest substance in the human body. It needs to be looked after properly to maintain its strength, and a combination of good oral hygiene, a sensible diet with balanced nutrition, and regular dental visits are needed to make sure your teeth last your whole life.
Foods high in protein are vital for overall health, as protein helps form the building blocks of the body and is key for healing. Protein contains phosphorous which is a vital component in improving the strength of your teeth and jaw. Meat and egg yolks are a good source, as are green leafy vegetables.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian you must take extra steps to ensure all of your protein needs are being met by eating legumes, tofu and other protein-rich foods.
Milk and dairy products have long been heralded as popular sources of Vitamin D and calcium, ideal for increasing the strength of your bones and teeth.
While calcium is great for brittle bones, it actually works of strengthening the enamel on your teeth. If you’re lactose intolerant, soy milk is a good alternative.
A more surprising recommendation for helping your tooth enamel is citrus; many people are cautious about what the acid will do to their teeth but the vitamin C will actually kill of most of the acid creating bacteria that are currently on the surface of the tooth, and it also helps the cells involved in the formation of teeth.
Wholegrain cereals help too, as the magnesium in them aids in tooth enamel and jaw strength. Processed grains will merely dissolve into sugars in your mouth, which can have detrimental effects on your teeth.
Instead, eat rice, corn, barley and oats- no junk sugary cereals. Wheat is one of the most direct sources, and is also healthier for you to consume.
Oily fish like sardines (those with edible bones) are one of the few foods containing Vitamin D, which helps the body properly utilize calcium, aiding in enamel development.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone, which means what it actually does is tell your intestines to absorb the calcium you consume.
When your body does not absorb enough calcium, it breaks down the calcium in your bones and teeth, making them brittle. By helping the absorption of calcium, it helps your enamel from wearing away.
Stay away from cigarettes; not only are they horrendously bad for you, but they stain your teeth. Also avoid sugars, processed foods, and particularly hard foods which can chip away at your teeth.
Visit the dentist regularly and maintain good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing. A well-balanced diet will ensure excellent overall body health, and it’s never too late to start taking care of yourself.
If you have any concerns about your teeth, especially as you age, make an appointment with Dr. Fagan at the Fingal Dental Surgery in Lusk, Co. Dublin by calling 01 843 0740.