How can you help your kids’ have healthy teeth? It requires more than brushing and flossing twice a day. Optimal nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are equally important when it comes to ensuring that your child’s teeth grow strong and straight and remain free of decay. And with Halloween just around the corner, this may be a good reminder to bone up on good oral hygiene!
Although flossing and brushing are key in maintaining those pearly whites, there are other factors that can help with strengthening and protecting teeth. Although, the tips below are important for kids, they are just as important for adults!
How to Maintain Healthy Teeth
Sugary foods and drinks, and foods that stick to teeth can significantly increase chances of tooth decay. Tooth decay is the breakdown of tooth enamel, and it can lead to holes in the teeth, or cavities. Since bacteria is what causes cavities and dental decay in the first place, it makes sense to try to keep it at bay. Bacteria feeds in acidic environments and it thrives on sugar… even natural sugar. So cutting back on sugary foods will help keep the mouth from being such a prime environment for bacteria to reside.
Instead of chips and crackers, try apples and cheese. Apples require chewing, which forces your teeth into stimulating action. The malic acid in apples cleanses the teeth. Calcium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, dried beans and almonds can also help maintain strong teeth.
And instead of a juice box, drink water! Water is a great mouth cleaner because it washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria thrive on. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love sugar, and bacteria also produce acid that wears away the enamel that forms the outer shell of your teeth. Water helps dilute the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Drinking juice, soda or sports drinks, on the other hand, can leave unwanted sugar behind.
2. Keep teeth clean and plaque-free
Since bacteria stick to teeth via plaque, it makes sense to try to keep plaque off the teeth. The best way to do this is by brushing. It’s recommended that you and your kids brush twice a day, but after every meal is really ideal, as it will get leftover food out of the mouth and remove plaque from the teeth. Using a xylitol-based toothpaste adds extra protection, as it can help prevent cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth. Don’t forget to floss, too! Food can get caught between tight spaces and brushing won’t be enough to dislodge it.
3. Supplement with vitamin D
Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D are three important nutrients for the health of our teeth. It’s important to know that magnesium and vitamin D are required for calcium to be properly assimilated in the body.
Magnesium is found in chlorophyll-rich green vegetables, whole grains, legumes, honey, molasses, dates and nuts – especially almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts. Kelp and other seaweeds are also good sources. Vitamin D is produced naturally in the body through the interaction of sunlight with certain chemicals in the skin. Food sources of vitamin D, which are limited, include fatty fish such as salmon, plus eggs and some fortified dairy products – but it’s hard to get enough vitamin D through your diet. Also, when sunlight exposure is diminished, such as during the winter months, it can be difficult to get adequate vitamin D from being outdoors, and a supplement is recommended.
If you have any questions about care for healthy teeth, or would like to know the different types of natural toothpastes Village Green Apothecary carries, stop by our store, visit our website or give us a call! We are here to help.
We would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Halloween.
Photo from here, with thanks.