Most of us brush our teeth multiple times per day and some of us are also diligent flossers. However, our toothbrush and dental floss are not the only things that protect our teeth against decay. What we eat can help maintain healthy gums and prevent tooth decay. Here are some other healthy diet tips for maintaining those pearly whites.
Step 1: Mothers-to-be should eat right during pregnancy to ensure their children’s teeth start off strong. Calcium is essential for healthy gums and teeth. It is found in low-fat dairy products, almonds, dark green leafy vegetables, as well as canned sardines and salmon. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium. In addition to some of the sources mentioned above, it is found in margarine and through sun exposure.
Step 2: Provide children with fluoride during their early years. This can prevent cavities. Fluoride is found in fluoridated water, tea, some fish, and many types of mouthwash and toothpaste. Too much fluoride can mottle the teeth, so keep consumption moderate.
Step 3: Consume phosphorus, magnesium, beta carotene, and vitamin A. Phosphorus is found in eggs, fish, and meat. Whole grains, bananas, and spinach provide magnesium. Beta carotene is provided by dark green leafy vegetables as well as vegetables and fruits that are orange in color. The body converts beta carotene into vitamin A.
Step 4: Do not put a baby or toddler to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or another sweet drink. Do not dip a pacifier in honey or syrup to make it more attractive to a child.
Step 5: Limit sugary and starchy foods. Items like dried fruits and unsweetened fruit juices can also contribute to tooth decay. Instead, select fresh fruits.
Step 6: Keep the mouth hydrated. Having a mouth that is chronically dry contributes to tooth decay. During sleep, saliva flows, so do not go to bed without brushing your teeth. There are also new mouthwashes and sprays that we can use to help keep our mouth moist if we have trouble with dry mouth.