Posted by Ian Shea on May 23, 2016
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
The foods that we consume have a lot to do with our overall health. Without proper nutrition the human body is rendered helpless to defend itself against a wide range of illnesses. Human teeth are no different.
The case against sugary foods
Besides the fact that added sugars like high fructose corn syrup and sucrose contain absolutely no essential nutrients, they also feed the kinds of bacteria that are bad for your teeth. These so-called “bad” bacteria are fueled by the very foods that we are hardwired to crave.
We all know that certain foods are bad for our teeth. Foods that possess high quantities of dietary sugars, starches and acids are implicated in the majority of cases of tooth decay. These foods, coupled with bad oral hygiene, are a forthright recipe for the premature erosion of teeth.
You can support your oral health through your diet
The ongoing process of eating to sustain our lives means that our teeth are exposed to a high degree of perpetual abrasions throughout the entirety of our lives. Fortunately for us, there are abundant variations of food sources that can support the health of our teeth.
Certain foods deserve more praise than they receive when it comes to the dental health enhancing qualities that they possess.
Crunchy foods that have a high water content are very good for your teeth. The water in these foods cause the oral cavity to generate saliva. Saliva is essential for washing away bacteria and other ingredients that are harmful to teeth. Additionally, the abrasive texture of these foods act as a dietary toothbrush being that the act of chewing causes them to brush against the surface of the teeth, thereby dislodging other food particles from teeth.
One example of a crunchy, well hydrated food is celery
(In addition to being good for your teeth, celery is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, potassium and is a good source of dietary fiber.)
Tooth Enamel is the proverbial Knight in Shining Armor for your teeth. Tooth Enamel is the hardest material in the human body. It does a terrific job of protecting teeth. The crown of a tooth (the part that is visible) is protected by tooth enamel.
Calcium and Phosphorous are the building blocks of Tooth Enamel. Eating foods high in both of these will help your body to maintain and strengthen the enamel on your teeth.
As you probably know, any milk-based products will contain an abundance of calcium.
Fish, red meat and eggs are some of the foods that contain optimal amounts of phosphorous.
Human beings have been chewing gum for at least 7,000 years. The benefits of chewing gum are vast. Chewing gum has far reaching positive effects physically, mentally and spiritually. I am not making this up. There is an abundance of research that has drawn these conclusions. As far as teeth are concerned, chewing gum can be a life saver. Taking the first 20 minutes after you finish a meal to chew gum can help prevent tooth erosion.
When you chew gum you activate your salivary glands, causing an influx of fresh saliva to flow around your teeth and cleanse them.
Nuts are packed with calcium and phosphorous. As mentioned earlier, calcium and phosphorous are the foundation of tooth enamel.
Food detritus will be washed away by the water that you consume. Your body also uses water to create saliva. If tooth enamel is the Knight in Shining Armor of tooth protection, then saliva is the Great Wall of your teeth. Properly hydrating yourself is the first line of defense in tooth protection because saliva is created from the water in the fluids that you consume. If you have a choice between any other drink and plain old water to protect your teeth, water takes the win by a landslide every time.
Milk is only second to water in terms of promoting dental health. Milk contains lots of calcium to fortify teeth. Milk is also comprised of essential elements. Additionally, milk reduces the amount of acid in your mouth. The reduction of these acids promotes an optimal environment for your teeth.
According to a study conducted in 2009 by J Periodontal on 940 Japanese men aged 49 to 59 years old, drinking Green Tea every day slows the effects of gum (periodontal) disease.
Remember to skip additives like sugar and honey when you make your tea. At best, these added sweeteners will neutralize the benefits to your teeth from drinking Green Tea. At worst, these sweeteners will do more harm than good.
Red and White Meat
The vast majority of meats are very beneficial to the health of your teeth. Meat has a high nutrient content. Red meat, despite all of its’ downsides, is especially good for your teeth.
Green leafy vegetables
Filled with folic acid, calcium and other vitamins and minerals, green leafy vegetables are a great dietary aid to your oral health.
You really can’t go wrong with eating fatty fish. Fatty fish is rich in Vitamin D and other important nutrients that help your teeth stay strong.
Oranges are the least acidic of the citrus fruits. Oranges are rich in Vitamin C, which is in turn good for your teeth.
Apples are mildly acidic, making them act as a low level astringent on your teeth. Be sure to eat the skin of the apple as well. The skin is an invaluable part of the process due to the high fiber content that it contains.
Pears neutralize the acid in your mouth. This makes pears a great snack at any time.
According to a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Red Wine helps prevent cavities. This is due to the grape seed extract that the wine is derived from. There have been discussions in the scientific community geared toward making natural products from grape seed extract to inhibit tooth decay.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many foods that promote dental health. If you don’t see a food that you are fond of on our list there are surely others out there that will be to your liking. Eating and dental health do not need to have an antagonistic relationship.