Your teeth are a lifetime asset. They support you in eating, and in speaking. They also give you a beautiful smile and charming looks. But unlike your skin and other organs, your teeth cannot repair themselves. However, you can have decayed tooth rebuilt and you can have a lost tooth replaced. We will use our best expertise and efforts to do that. But whatever cost you may pay, you cannot get a replacement as good as the original natural tooth. Luckily, preserving your teeth is a very simple matter: Adopt tooth friendly habits, and eat tooth friendly foods. For your benefit, I will discuss below both of these. To understand what habits and diet are friends with your teeth, you must know what threatens your teeth and how.
Enemy of your teeth
Your teeth are made of dentin and covered with enamel which is translucent. Dentin and the enamel together give your teeth their beautiful natural white color. Incidentally, the enamel is the hardest tissue in the human system. It is made up mostly of crystalline minerals which give it its hardness. The teeth are always being wetted by saliva, which is somewhat basic in nature and is rich in the same minerals as in the enamel. Hence, a two-way chemical process goes on between the enamel and the saliva which is balanced under normal conditions. That means the amount of mineral leaving enamel for saliva is balanced by the amount leaving saliva for the enamel. This balance is upset when the saliva becomes less basic due to acid being produced. More minerals enter saliva than leave it, and a ‘demineralization’ of the teeth starts. The teeth start decaying and become vulnerable to cavities.
The Process of Teeth Decay
This acid is produced by bacteria (present in plaque and calculus) from fat, sugar or starch particles which remain stuck to teeth after eating. The longer these bacteria get to act on the starch and sugar, the more acid they will produce, the greater are the rate of decay, and the chance of caries. So, the enemies are:
- sugars and starches which remain stuck with teeth
- the time they remain stuck
- the plaque and tartar which house the bacteria.
- The bacteria
Bacteria are naturally present in the mouth. Their action can be curbed by eliminating their safe haven, the plaque and tartar. That is possible, normally, with good oral hygiene. Thus, there is one single remedy: keep your teeth and gums free of plaque, sugar and carbohydrates as far as possible. All those habits and actions which ensure this are tooth friendly habits. Similarly all that stuff which is not too hard for your teeth, and is not too rich in sugars and carbohydrates can be considered tooth friendly. Especially friendly are those foods which provide minerals and vitamins to the body, and those like carrots and apples which provide exercise to healthy teeth.
Tooth Friendly Habits
- Optimal Oral Hygiene – Keep your teeth and mouth always clean. For this purpose, brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day- in the morning and in the evening.
- Rinsing your Mouth with Water – If you cannot brush your teeth after a meal or snack at least rinse it thoroughly with water after flossing.
- Eating Habits
- Avoid eating between snacks.
- Avoid junk food, and any foods rich in fats and carbohydrates.
- Avoid eating too much of sweet preparations.
- Always visit your dentist for regular checkup.
Tooth friendly foods
- Vegetables – All vegetables (except fried potato) and fruit; meat, bread, eggs, dairy products, and common foods are tooth friendly if they are not richly fried and do not carry too much sugar content. Carrots, apples, and fresh salads are friendlier because they pose no danger and also clean and exercise your teeth. Candy, chocolate, and other sweet preparations are not inherently in the enemy list. Rather, they can be used by our ‘unfriendly’ habits to damage your teeth.
- Vitamins – different types of vitamin, such as vitamin C and D are beneficial for your teeth and gums. Optimal Vitamin C levels in the body ensure that your gums remain beautiful and healthy. Similarly, Vitamin D is essential for your body to keep your bones and teeth strong.
- Fluoride – optimal fluoride level in the body have shown to make the teeth more resistant to cavities, infection and fractures. This is due to their ability to prevent further demineralization of the teeth.
- Calcium – calcium is an integral component of your bones and teeth. Therefore, you must ensure optimal calcium body levels if you want your bones and teeth to be healthy. Rich sources of calcium include milk, eggs and cheese.