Studies of foods and dental health suggest that some foods are beneficial to bone and muscle are also good for teeth and gums. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, while grain products like breads and cereals contain high levels of B vitamins. Both sorts of nutrients contribute to the health of gum tissue. Fish, poultry and lean meat furnish zinc and magnesium for teeth. Some authorities recommend brushing teeth after each meal and before bedtime, and flossing the teeth at the time of the bedtime brushing.
Some food items provide protection against cavities, but fluoride is the primary means of preventing dental cavities.
Fluoride conveys a degree of acid resistance that helps preserve the surface of the teeth during remineralization.
Some dental professionals feel that fluoride toothpaste provides sufficient cavity protection, but others recommend drinking fluoridated water.
The calcium found abundantly in dairy products may encourage the remineralization process.
Any food increases production of saliva, which contains chemical buffers that help establish a stable neutral pH in the mouth.
High fiber foods stimulate salivation like any others. A bolus of something like celery string may also force saliva into food particles trapped in the fissures and pits on the chewing surface. This dilutes carbohydrates, neutralizes acid and encourages remineralization in easy-to-reach areas where the majority of cavities occur. Sugar-free chewing gum can stimulate saliva production and help clean tooth surfaces.
Green tea furnished antioxidant polyphenol plant compounds that help prevent plaque, cavities and gum disease. Tea can help control bad breath. Tea also strengthens tooth enamel because of its high fluoride content.
Dairy products are good for teeth due to their low acidity, which minimizes wearing of teeth, and because of their low content of the sugars that induce decay.
The calcium found in milk is a good source of calcium, which makes up most of the content of bones and teeth.
Cheese provides both calcium and phosphate, which helps stabilize the mouths pH, encourages salivation, preserves tooth enamel and helps control the bacteria that may cause cavities and disease.
Strawberries, apples, kiwis and other fruits are packed with vitamin C, the element that helps hold cells together. Neglecting vitamin C can allow gum cells to break down, leaving the tissue tender and vulnerable to disease.
Vitamin A from vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, broccoli and sweet potatoes is a requirement for the formation of enamel on teeth. Crisp vegetables are also helpful in cleaning gums.
Onions supply antibacterial sulfur compounds proven to kill many types of bacteria. This is especially true when the onions are eaten raw.
Celery encourages saliva productions, thus neutralizing the acids that lead to demineralization and cavity formation. Celery also massages the gums and teeth.
Sesame seeds help fight plaque and build tooth enamel. Their calcium content is also quite high.
Animal foods such as beef, poultry and eggs supply phosphorus, the substance which along with calcium is most beneficial in building teeth and bones.
Water cleanses the mouth and encourages salivation, which lays down essential minerals on the teeth. It also hydrates gums and washes away foreign material on the teeth.
Dental cavities are often associated with sugars.
Some other carbohydrates, particularly cooked starches like crisps or potato chips, damage teeth as well, although the extent of the damage is likely to be less because the starch must be converted to sugar by saliva before acting on the teeth.
Table sugar, or sucrose, is frequently linked to cavities. The quantity of sugar consumed at any one sitting is less significant than the frequency with which sugary foods and drinks are consumed.
More frequent consumption of sugar means teeth are exposed to low levels of pH for longer times, leading to demineralization.
It is particularly important to limit the frequency of consumption of sugary foods and beverages to allow fluoride and remineralization a chance to repair the teeth.
Fruits And Juices
Fruits and fruit juices contain sugars like glucose, maltose and fructose that are also strongly linked to the occurrence of cavities.
The acids that are found in soft drinks, fruit juice and even vinegar lower the level of pH in the mouth, which can then cause the tooth enamel to demineralize.
Frequent consumption of beverages such as orange juice or sweet carbonated beverages throughout the day increases the risk of the formation of dental cavities enormously.
Stickiness of foods is also a prime factor in increasing the risk of the development of cavities. Some foods, especially sweets, adhere to the teeth, lowering the mouths pH for and extended period of time.
This is a particularly problem if the foods in question are sugary. It is vital to tooth health that the teeth be thoroughly cleaned at least twice daily, preferably using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
Removing food that sticks to the teeth reduces the chance of decay. Brushing and flossing teeth regularly also cleans away the coating of dental plaque on the surface of the teeth.
Chewing gum can be beneficial to oral irrigation around and between the teeth, cleaning these vulnerable areas and removing food particles. For teeth that are not in good condition, however, gum use may cause damage and even remove fillings that are beginning to come loose.
Use of tobacco, whether smoked or chewed, is strongly related to the risk of numerous dental diseases. Frequent vomiting such as that which occurs in cases of bulimia nervosa can also cause real damage to the teeth.
Mouthwashes or oral rinses with solutions of salt or fluoride or with an antiseptic solution of chlorhexidine gluconate improves the hygiene necessary for good oral health.
Many dental chewing gums market themselves as aids to the health of the teeth and gums.
Retainers And Food Considerations
Retainers should be cleaned in either mouthwash or cleaning fluid for dentures. Dentists may recommend dental braces to maximize oral health, but braces require strict attention to hygiene.
Retainers, dentures and similar appliances need to be kept very clean. Brushing is a basic requirement, and some appliances may require soaking in appropriate cleaning solutions such as those manufactured for dentures.