Although it's often been said before, you only get one set of permanent teeth and you need to look after them. Treat them well and you may retain them for life.
Feeding your Teeth
When it comes down to tooth healthcare and oral hygiene, the benefits of regular cleaning, flossing and mouth washing are drilled into us from an early age. We also all know that certain foods (like confectionery and sweet fizzy drinks) should be avoided, or at least minimised. But did you also know there are foods that are not only good for your teeth, but that also feed them? Perhaps you didn't even appreciate that your teeth needed feeding? – Well they do!
The Importance of Dairy Products
If there are children in your life you will already be well aware that calcium helps to build strong, healthy bones and teeth. It's exactly why milk is one of the most essential foods not only for babies but for growing children too.
Milk is good for us at all stages of our life, even in adulthood and our more senior years. It can help to stave off and lessen the effects of conditions like osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease as it is otherwise known.
Yoghurt is also very good for you as it too is rich in calcium; and if you choose bio yoghurts, the concentrated active bacteria are also good for your gut.
Cheese is another dairy product that is excellent for teeth. It's not only a good source of calcium, but it also contains phosphate. It helps to combat bad breath by controlling the balance of pH in your mouth. In addition, cheese also helps your body to manufacture more saliva, which in turn helps to rebuild tooth enamel, and also destroys the bacteria that can lead to cavities forming, and the onset of gum disease.
Fruit and Vegetables That Are High In Fibre
Foods that have high fibre content actually tend to work in a similar way to detergent in your mouth. They not only scrub your teeth clean, but because they require a greater time to chew, they also help to stimulate saliva production, the benefits of which we have already described above. Fruit and vegetables that are juicy and crunchy in texture also contain a higher water content.
You also get another benefit with high fibre fruit and veg because they're not only good for teeth and for oral hygiene, but they're also good for your gut and your digestive system. Where possible, you should eat raw vegetables. This not only increases the "crunch factor" and therefore the benefit of cleaning your teeth as you eat, but it's also keeps the vitamin, mineral, and nutrient value intact. Generally speaking, the more you boil vegetables, the more goodness, you will lose, and the less "scrub factor" will be present.
The Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are another great health food for your teeth. They are a rich source of calcium, and they also help to dissolve plaque, and promote new tooth enamel growth. With the explosion of the variety of breads you can buy in supermarkets today, you'll find many that contain these lovely, tasty seeds.
Some of the Worst Foods for Teeth
Time to spoil the party. It's all very well talking about the foods that are good for your teeth, but it wouldn't be right if we didn't mention some of the foods that are bad for tooth health, and that should be avoided where possible. He is a brief list of some of the worst.
- Boiled sweets
- Sports drinks
- Certain fruits (particularly the citrus variety)
- Fruit juice (also the citrus variety as above)
The first 3 items listed above all contain sugar, which as you know, can lead to tooth decay. The second 3 items all contain acid which attacks and erodes tooth enamel.
But enough of the negativities; let's finish on a high!
Sometimes referred to as Adam's Ale, water really is the "water of life". We simply couldn't get by without. It also helps to keep our gums hydrated, and when combined with brushing, also washes away any particles of food that get trapped in between our teeth.
But whilst the benefits of mineral water or already well advertised, we shouldn't forget the benefits that adding Fluoride to ordinary tap-water supplies has given us too. It plays a major role in helping to reduce tooth decay in children.