10 tips for healthy teeth: Greenwood dentist loves sharing helpful information
Dental health starts with nutrition
Tip #1 – Calcium
Calcium is a building block of robust bone in the jaw, necessary for support of teeth. The mineral hydroxyapatite, a crystalline form of calcium phosphate, is the primary component of tooth enamel, the hard outer layer that protects the nerve center. Add calcium to your meals with:
- Milk – low-fat or fat-free is fine
- Soy drinks and tofu fortified with calcium
- Legumes (beans, chickpeas, sweet peas, green beans, and lentils)
- Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and collard greens)
Tip #2 – Phosphorous
This mineral makes up about a percent of your body weight and is needed for every type of cell. Phosphorous works with calcium to keep hard tissues strong, and it is essential to gum health. Foods rich in phosphorous include:
- Dairy products
- Lean red meat
Tip #3 – Magnesium
As one of the seven essential macro minerals, a significant amount of magnesium should be consumed daily. In the oral cavity, this mineral works with calcium and phosphorous to maintain healthy teeth. You get magnesium from:
- Dark chocolate
- Whole grains
- Leafy greens
- Fatty fish – halibut, mackerel, and salmon
Tip #4 – Snacking
Between-meal snacking tends to invite acid attack, harmful to teeth and gums. If you have the urge to munch, substitute high vitamin C fresh fruits and raw vegetables for sweets or chips.
Hydration is helpful
Tip #5 – Water
Swallowing plenty of plain, fresh water benefits oral tissues in two ways. First, it provides internal hydration soft tissue cells need for regeneration. Second, it flushes bits of food debris and bacteria from all mouth surfaces. This reduces harmful acids and build-up of the sticky film of bacterial plaque. It also helps to keep plaque from hardening into tartar at the gum line.
Tip #6 – Other beverages
Soda, fruit juice, and fancy coffee drinks contain a great deal of sugar – the favorite food of oral bacteria. However, diet and energy drinks can also be detrimental to oral health. They are usually high in acids, so frequent consumption leads to erosion of tooth enamel. Alcohol reduces saliva production, and thus fosters a dry mouth.
Hygiene is huge
Tip #7 – Brush and floss
Your body produces much less saliva at night (so you won’t choke during sleep). That allows bacteria to flourish, creating the notorious “morning breath.” Get rid of it right away by brushing with non-abrasive, fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush. Swish with an anti-bacterial mouth rinse if recommended by your dentist.
If you cannot brush after eating during the day, rinse the mouth with plain water and chew sugar-free gum with xylitol. At bedtime, floss teeth first, then brush to remove the food source for oral bacteria.
Tip #8 – Tobacco
Any type of tobacco (including smokeless) contains chemicals that harm teeth and gums and inhibit the body’s natural ability to heal. Smokers are more likely to get cavities, almost certainly will end up with some level of gum disease and are six times more likely than a non-smoker to develop an oral cancer. If you do not use tobacco, please do not start. If you do, talk with Dr. Griffin or your family physician about options for a successful cessation plan.
Partner with the right professional
Tip #9 – Cleaning
Regular professional dental cleanings are necessary for good oral health, even for the most conscientious brusher and flosser. A trained hygienist uses special implements and techniques to access areas you simply cannot reach with home care.
Tip #10 – Dental care
During checkups, Dr. Griffin is vigilant for signs of potential problems with teeth or gums. With early intervention, issues can be addressed most efficiently and economically, with the best outcome. He is also a wellspring of further advice for avoiding dental problems.
This Greenwood dentist is sharing 10 tips for healthy teeth to help his patients smile comfortably for life. Call (864) 229-2610 to make Dr. Griffin your partner in dental wellness.Back to Home Page