Dental health is more important than most people do realize. And nutrition plays a big role in this. What
you eat has a lot to do with your teeth and gums. They contribute to maintaining your dental health. And teeth and
our gums are a lot more important to our health than many of us really understand. If we don’t take care of our teeth
and gums, we risk tooth decay, gum disease, and even bone loss. It is vital that the food we eat is full of enough vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.
There are no two opinions among experts that every one of us, particularly children, needs nutritive food to grow properly and stay healthy. We need healthy teeth and gums to eat nutritious foods. And we need to eat nutritious foods for healthy teeth. If we do not have teeth, we may not be able to eat certain nutritive foods which affect our health.
Too many carbohydrates, both sugars (for example, from cake, cookies, candies, milk, and other sugary foods and
beverages) and savoury foods and starches (for example, banana chips or potato chips) can cause tooth decay.
How long carbohydrates remain on the teeth is the main culprit that leads to tooth decay.
Oral health and general health
If our eyes are a window to the soul, our teeth and gums are a window to our bodies. As children, our diet influences how our teeth develop. And once all teeth are in place, what we eat has an important role in maintaining dental health. If we do not take care of our teeth and gums, we risk tooth decay, gum disease, and even bone loss. The state of our teeth and gums can often signal systemic problems, including cardiovascular disease, celiac disease, diabetes, sinus infection, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel disease, gastro oesophageal reflux, alcoholism, and more. In fact, your dentist can sometimes diagnose these conditions before your family doctor!
Nutrient deficiencies and oral health
Nutrition is the focal point of health and well-being. Nutrition is directly linked to human resource development, productivity and ultimately to the national growth. Mucosal cells in our mouths turn over within three to seven days. So, nutrient shortfalls or their excesses will show up in our mouth tissue before they show up anywhere else.
Periodontal disease is associated with lower blood levels of vitamins and minerals. And getting enough of specific nutrients can be important to successful treatment.
What to eat or avoid
You know that nutrients are important. At the same time, you must also know what things you must buy that provide you with the essential nutrients. Eat a mostly whole foods diet with lots of lean protein and fresh vegetables and avoid most processed foods, especially those that are high in simple sugars.
You can try some of these healthy snacks that don’t attack your teeth.
– Celery (a leafy vegetable with succulent leaf stalks) and carrot snacks
– Fresh fruit and nuts
When you do eat or drink a high-sugar snack there are several means to minimise the damage to your teeth. After your snack, rinse your mouth with water, eat a small piece of cheese or use chlorhexidine mouthwash. Cheese provides calcium to replace the minerals lost by the bacteria produced acid, and helps to even up the bacterial balance in your mouth. If you choose to have a soft drink, use a straw. This will limit the amount of sugar touching your teeth.
The best drinks for teeth are plain water or milk. Drinking coffee and tea will stain your teeth and dry your mouth out. Drinks high in caffeine inhibit your saliva’s ability to combat tooth decay. Acidic fruit juice, such as orange juice, can also attack your teeth. This is because it alters the acidic balance in your mouth and leaves your tooth enamel vulnerable. To avoid damaging your teeth, remember to wait at least an hour after consuming acidic food or drink before brushing your teeth.
Probiotics may contribute to decreasing gingivitis and plaque; bacteria in fermented foods might suppress the growth of pathogens in the oral cavity. One study has shown that consuming fermented dairy products was associated with less periodontal diseases. Probiotics from any source could be helpful in arresting oral diseases to a large extent.
Green tea contains polyphenols and it is known to reduce bacteria and toxic products of bacteria in the mouth. Tea also tends to be rich in fluoride, possibly the most wellknown substance that strengthens tooth. To sum up, as children we eat anything we like but what we eat indeed influences how our teeth develop. Once we have all the teeth in place, what we eat has an important a role in maintaining dental health.
If we do not take proper care of our teeth we end up with dental problems. Try to get the nutrients mentioned above from whole foods. Where necessary, dietary supplements should be necessary. Healthy eating patterns can improve oral health but regular brushing and flossing are your best bets for keeping your teeth healthy. But yes, certain foods can keep your smile looking bright by contributing to your overall oral health.
NUTRIENT: WHAT YOU NEED IT FOR
Protein Tooth structure, mucosal/connective tissue development, and immune function.
Calcium: Tooth structure; may enhance enamel remineralization.
Phosphorus: Tooth structure.
Zinc: Mucosal/connective tissues and immune function.
Antioxidants: Mucosal/connective tissues and immune function.
Folate: Mucosal/connective tissues and immune function; low levels are associated with periodontal disease.
Iron: Mucosal/connective tissues and immune function.
Vitamin A: Mucosal/connective tissues and immune function. But be aware that getting too much from supplements may result in gum problems.
Vitamin C: Collagen maturation and to maintain the integrity of the periodontal ligament; mucosal/connective tissues and immune function.
Omega-3 fats: Mucosal/connective tissues and immune function; modulates the inflammatory response.
Vitamin D: Mucosal/connective tissues, immune function
B vitamins: Epithelial cell turnover.