Four Must Know Tips For Dental Nutrition
1. Eat more real whole food. Processed foods and simple carbohydrates negatively affect our health in multiple aspects. Teeth are affected by these foods as they cause high acidity in the mouth, increased inflammation and encourage the growth of dangerous bacteria.
2. Sometimes it’s how you eat, not what you eat. This is an interesting and little known fact. Almost every time that you eat your mouth becomes acidic. When your mouth is acidic your teeth break down and cavities form. After you eat your saliva neutralizes the mouth and heals your teeth. If your children are always snacking or drinking (anything except water) then their mouth continually stays acidic. The trick is to give their little teeth breaks by taking longer breaks between eating and drinking. This will allow their saliva to keep their teeth strong.
Note: you can always drink water, it’s great for your teeth!
3. Get your vitamins! Yes, vitamins are very important for your teeth. Vitamins D and K2 regulate calcium uptake and concentrations around the body. Calcium is one of the key minerals in tooth health. Studies have identified that higher Vitamin D levels are linked to cavity reduction. Vitamin C is crucial for gum health. Have you heard of the disease scurvy? It’s the gum disease that we often heard about pirates having! That’s because they did not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables when they were out to sea for long periods of time. Scurvy is a gum disease that is the result of a severe Vitamin C deficiency.
4. Eat less crackers and more chocolate! Every dentist will tell you to avoid sweets and candy, but what is often left out is the danger of simple carbohydrate snacks like chips, crackers and pretzels. As a pediatric dentist, I think that more cavities are caused by crackers than by chocolate. Crackers, chips and pretzels break down into sugar in milliseconds. These foods will stick on and in between teeth feeding the dangerous cavity causing bacteria. People often see these snacky foods as less concerning than sweets so they eat much more of them. I caution all of my patients about the dangers of eating simple processed carbohydrates. Chocolate on the other hand actually has antioxidants and bacteria fighting agents in it. The darker chocolate the better!
As a dad of three children I get it, there is ideal and there is real life! Use this information to make a little changes here and there and watch the health benefits pile up for your family.
Cheers to your family's health!