Diet and nutrition clearly play a big role in your overall health and well being, you can’t ignore the effect what you eating habits have on your dental health. From diets that are high in sugar to foods that can damage and crack the tooth at a structural level, you should consider the effects of dietary choices on your teeth. Here are ideas for increasing awareness about your diet and the effect on your general as well as oral health.
Vitamins and Herb supplements
When it comes to obtaining the micronutrients your body needs, your best possible source is food, especially fruits and vegetables. But circumstances may prevent you from eating optimally every day. Vitamins, minerals and other supplements won’t compensate for a poor diet, but they can help fill nutritional gaps in a good one , Important minerals and nutrients the body needs to stay healthy include:
Calcium Essential for bone health; teeth and jaws are made mostly of calcium, sources are Milk and dairy products, beans, broccoli, nuts and oyster
Iron deficiency can cause tongue inflammation and mouth sores. Sources are Red meat, poultry, fish, fortified cereals, some vegetables and nuts
Vitamin B3 (niacin); A lack of vitamin B3 can cause bad breath and canker sores, Rich sources are Chicken and fish
Vitamins B12 and B2 (riboflavin) ; Mouth sores can develop with insufficient B12 and B2 , Sources for B12 are red meat, chicken liver, pork and fish, dairy products , Sources for B2 are pasta, bagels, spinach and almonds
Vitamin C Helps produce collagen, the connective tissue that holds bone; rich sources are Sweet potatoes, raw red peppers and oranges. A deficiency may lead to bleeding gums and loose teeth
Vitamin D Enables the body to absorb calcium, which helps build strong bones and teeth, sources are milk, egg yolks, fish and limited amounts of sunshine
Vitamin K Helps synthesize three proteins in bone needed for strength and also noted for its role in blood clotting, rich sources are broccoli and leafy greens
Zinc Promotes strong bones and helps develop and maintain collagen, found in Seafood, meat and liver
Magnesium is important for bone formation, found in Green vegetables, legumes and nuts
Potassium Helps promote good mineral density and reduces calcium loss Fruits and vegetables
Anti – inflammation Diet
Following an anti-inflammatory diet can help neutralise the chronic inflammation that is a root cause of many serious diseases, including those that become more frequent as people age. It is a way of selecting and preparing foods based on science that can help people achieve and maintain optimum health over their lifetime.
The Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid provides abundant vitamins, minerals and fibre; facilitates stable blood-sugar levels; and helps control the inappropriate inflammation that underlies many chronic diseases including: Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases Heart conditions and Age-related diseases , including cancer Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Recognise the Difference in Sugar Types
Sucrose, lactose and fructose are three different sugar types. Lactose, the type found in milk, is an ally in the fight against tooth decay. Fructose and sucrose typically line up on the other side of the battle, as opponents of good oral health. The most-consumed sugary products are typically high-fructose soft drinks (sodas), so avoiding them is highly recommended.
Foods that Fight Fat
One cup of berries provides all the disease-fighting antioxidants you need in a single day. Antioxidants are important disease-fighting compounds. Scientists believe they help prevent and repair the stress that comes from oxidation, a natural process that occurs during normal cell function. A small percentage of cells becomes damaged during oxidation and turns into free radicals, which can start a chain reaction to harming more cells and possibly disease. Unchecked free radical activity has been linked to cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
Understanding the Role of Starches
Starches affect dental health as well. On the one hand, whole-grain starches are beneficial, as they create saliva that help wash bacteria away from your teeth. Sugary starches (such as cakes and biscuits) can prove to be lethal for teeth. In general, you can guess that naturally sweet foods like fruits and vegetables are going to have a positive effect on your oral and general health, while baked and otherwise processed foods will have the opposite effect.
Prevention and Home care
• Limit consumption of food and beverages that contribute to poor oral health.
• Eat sweets at mealtime, not as a snack, because the increased flow of saliva during a meal helps protect the teeth by washing away and diluting sugar.
• If sugar is the first ingredient listed on a product label, then the food has high sugar content. Look for other sugars on the label: corn syrup, corn sweeteners, dextrose, fructose, glucose, honey, maple syrup, molasses and sucrose.
• Check to see if liquid medicines (such as cough syrup) contain sugar. Ask the doctor or pharmacist for sugar-free medicines.
• Drink water between meals.
• Prepare food in healthy ways, such as steaming, sautéing, poaching or baking. Avoid fried food and limit salt intake.