Your tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavities and tooth decay as it provides a tough covering that protects the vulnerable tooth pulp and dentin beneath. However, despite it being the hardest substance in the body, it can come under attack from acid.
Organic acids are released by dental plaque which in turn is increased by eating foods which are high in sugars and starches. So limiting these foods is vital for enamel protection and, in turn, for your overall oral health. Unfortunately, unlike other tissues or materials found in the body, enamel doesn’t contain living cells so, it can’t replenish itself. As a result, it pays to avoid, or at least limit, foods or beverages such as:
Soda – containing high sugar content
Flavored water – those with additives and citric components
Starchy Snacks – pretzels, chips, bread, and crackers
Sugary snacks – cookies candies and cakes
Citrus – Found in oranges, grapefruit, mandarins, lemons, and limes
While there are dental procedures such as fluoride treatments that can help to strengthen tooth enamel, did you know that in addition to enamel-attacking foods, there are substances found in foods and drinks which can also help to protect tooth enamel? So with this in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of them in more detail.
Of course, we know that calcium is good for promoting healthy bone growth particularly in children, but it’s also great for tooth enamel too. Aside from milk, cheese provides not only a great source of calcium but also does a good job of balancing your oral Ph – reducing acidity and increasing alkalinity. Aside from dairy items, calcium can also be found in dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, certain types of fish, particularly sardines and salmon, and nuts such as almonds.
The main role of vitamin D is to help the body absorb calcium, so if you’re looking to start increasing your calcium intake, then it’s important to ensure sufficient Vitamin D in your diet. The good news is that it’s naturally abundant in a wide variety of foods including fortified soy and rice milk, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, margarine, egg yolks, cheese, beef liver, orange juice, and certain yogurts.
When calcium is combined with phosphorus, it helps to form a mineral crystal that provides both strength and a protective structure to tooth enamel. Organic phosphorus is naturally found in protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, and game, but in addition, it can be found naturally in fish, nuts, and many pulses. That said, it’s thought that phosphorus found in animal-based foods is absorbed easier than phosphorus contained in plant-based foods.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which when collected is stored in vital body organs such as the liver. It’s needed to help build stronger bones and teeth. Sources of Vitamin A can be found in sweet potatoes, mangoes, and many types of green vegetables including kale and broccoli. In addition, the body also takes Beta-Carotene found naturally in orange coloured fruits and vegetables and turns them into vitamin A.
Aside from helping in the absorption of calcium, magnesium is responsible for over 700 roles in the body. One important one is to aid the production of a harder tooth enamel. Great sources of magnesium include bananas, avocados, dark chocolate, and dried fruits, but it can also be found in smaller quantities in dark leafy vegetables, nuts, fish, and seeds.
So there you have it – Vitamins and minerals that are great for protecting your tooth enamel and therefore your teeth. In addition, however, you might want to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day. Water stimulates saliva flow which in turn helps to fend off plaque and keep the mouth debris-free.
Healthy eating habits combined with a good oral health routine and regular visits to your dentist are key to help your teeth stay in top condition, so if you feel it’s about time you had a dental check-up, why not talk to the team at Chesterfield Dentistry. We look forward to providing you with the very best dental care you deserve. So call us today on (314) 786 3660 and book a consultation with Dr Akinwande.