We all know that we should be eating right to care for our whole body, not just our teeth, but with diets and food intolerances and hectic lifestyles our teeth can sometimes suffer. Here’s our top diet advice for healthy teeth and gums whatever your flavour preferences might be.
Calcium is essential for strong and heathy teeth and bones, and from school age we were taught that calcium-rich foods are dairy based – so make sure to drink your milk and eat yogurts, and of course enjoy cheese in small doses. But what if you suffer from lactose intolerance or you prefer to avoid dairy? There’s still plenty of alternative sources for calcium in your diet without having to touch dairy – dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, salmon, soy beans and soy milk are all rich in this essential mineral. Look out for calcium enriched cereals and breads too. Try and get a range of different sources to keep your diet varied and interesting.
An iron deficiency is referred to anaemia, and it means that your body does not get a good enough supply of oxygen-rich blood – which can be really bad news for your gums. It can make you more likely to develop gum disease, and can also lead to inflammation of the tongue in extreme cases – a condition called glossitis. To prevent this, get lots of iron-rich foods into your daily diet – iron from red meat is better absorbed by your body, but iron from plant sources causes less damage, so a balance is key. Try eating red meat, dark leafy green vegetables, dark chocolate, nuts and wholegrains for a healthy iron intake.
Ah, Vitamin Sunshine! We love a sunny day, but sadly in Ireland they are pretty few and far between, meaning we need to turn to our diet to top up this important vitamin. Vitamin D is used to regulate the amount of calcium in the body, so it’s essential for keeping teeth healthy. Try eating eggs and oily fish for an easy way to ensure your body gets all the vitamin D it needs, especially in the winter months.
Scurvy is not as common now a days but Vitamin C is an important part of the collagen that forms our gums. Your teeth need healthy gums to support them, so you should be eating foods rich in Vitamin C to make sure that any bleeding gums are kept at bay. Eating more oranges, carrots and sweet potatoes will help you top up these essential vitamins in your body naturally, and keep that smile looking great. Most foods containing Vitamin C are high in acid content so this should be eaten with an understanding of the impact of acid on our teeth.
Enamel erosion from fruit
Trying to maintain a healthy diet isn’t as simple as eating more fruit. One area where you need to pay attention to is the potential for enamel erosion from the sugars in fruit and fruit juices. We would always recommend that you try eating more vegetables than fruit, but if you’re still drawn to the sweetness of fruits, try and eat them with a meal instead of snacking on them throughout the day, and drink lots of water to wash away those harmful acids as you eat.
Remember that proper oral hygiene is key for keeping your whole mouth healthy, so if you have any concerns or questions, just ask us.