Improve Dental Health by Eating the Right Foods

How are Tooth Cavities Caused?

Eating right can help prevent the two most common dental problems that people typically struggle with: Cavities and gum disease. Tooth decay (that eventually leads to cavities) is caused by accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria comes from the food you eat and acts on the sugars contained in food (this is why sugary foods are not good for teeth).

The acid produced slowly eats away at your tooth enamel and then the internal part of the tooth called the dentine. Finally, over a time, the tooth gets ‘eaten away’ by acid and chips off, leaving behind a hole or cavity. Cavities are often hotbeds for bacterial infection and can lead to severe tooth ache.

Moreover, bacteria from the mouth may enter your body through the saliva or the bloodstream leading to other health problems.

What is the Relationship between Food and Dental Health?

A balanced diet gives the body the right amount of nutrients. Nutrients help the body revitalize its immune system and this in turn boosts resistance to dental diseases.

Calcium helps build teeth and the jaw. A person who eats a diet poor in calcium is more likely to develop dental problems. To help the body absorb the calcium, the diet should contain adequate amounts of vitamin D. Lack of vitamin D in the diet can lead to dry mouth, burning sensations and a bitter taste in the mouth.

Iron is also necessary for nourishment of blood vessels in the mouth. Deficiency in iron may lead to ulcerated sores and inflammation of the tongue. Vitamin C also helps in absorption of iron.

Adequate amounts of Vitamin B2, B12 (riboflavin)and B3 (niacin) can prevent bad breath and ulcers. So your diet should ideally contain all these nutrients. eating the right foods can stave off dental problems and reverse tooth decay.

Which Foods are Good for Dental Health?

The following foods are good for improving dental health:

  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese, oysters, beans – These contain calcium and phosphates that help re-mineralize teeth and also strengthen gums
  • Nuts, bran, red meat, liver – These foods contain high levels of iron
  • Pasta, spinach, chicken, fish, almonds – These are concentrated sources of vitamin B2, B12 and B3
  • Pears, sweet potatoes, red peppers, Kiwi fruit and oranges are great sources of vitamin C
  • Celery stimulates the salivary glands leading to production of saliva. Saliva dilutes concentration of bacteria. Celery also acts as a natural floss and cleans between teeth
  • Raisins are excellent sources of oleanolic acid that discourages the growth of oral bacteria
  • Onions have a strong antibacterial action due to the sulphurous compounds they produce. They are best when eaten fresh and raw.

Which Foods are bad for Dental Health?

It’s advisable to curb intake of the following foods:

Carbonated Soft Drinks: Soft drinks, canned iced teas and diet colas all contain flavor enhancers. Although diet sodas contain much less sugar than their conventional counterparts, they contain tooth-enamel eroding acids, namely phosphoric acid and citric acid.

Alcohol: Feeling dry-mouthed after last night’s party? That’s the alcohol working to dry up salivary secretions. Ensure that your mouth is protected from excessive dryness by using rehydrating rinses or simply by drinking a lot of water.

Candy bars, lollipops and toffee bars: Any sweet that involves prolonged sucking and chewing is bad for teeth. This is not just related to the sugar content (although that’s bad too). The longer the sugar stays in the mouth, the worse it is for your teeth – the bacteria get to metabolize the sugars for a longer time.

Summary

To put it in a nutshell, take care to avoid acidic and sweet foods. If you want to drink orange or grape juice, suck it through a straw and swallow it straight down the throat. Swishing it around the mouth is more likely to give your teeth an unwanted acid bath.

As a precaution, rinse your mouth with clean water after drinking or eating sugary or acidic foods. This helps get rid of the acid deposit on the teeth and prevents tooth decay.

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Check Out What’s New With Your Dental Care Technique

We all have always believed that our dentists use the age old oral healthcare techniques to resolve any issues related to our mouth. However this is not true and hence today we will discussing about the latest technologies that your dentists use when dealing with any sort of dental problem.

Most of the dental clinics have replaced their age old radiographs and are installing new age digitized X-rays. Digitized X-Rays have been existing for many years in the healthcare industry but has recently grabbed the attention of dentists. They are far more efficient and faster as compared to the radiographs. The working mechanism is quick because your dentist will place an electronic sensor in your mouth to capture the image. This sensor will relay the image to the computer and makes detecting the problem a lot easier. The procedure is faster as compared to what it was earlier.

These digital images are stored by your dental professional and helps in evaluating the progress of a patient. As a matter of fact the radiation dose is also reduced because the phosphor plate and sensor are more sensitive to X-rays than the film. There are multiple uses of digital x-rays apart from just checking out dental cavities. It is now being used for root canal treatment, checking below the teeth and also to check the placement of dental implant.

The other technique which is now being used at most of the dental clinics is the laser technique. This technique is used for tooth cavity detection. There was a time when an instrument called as explorer was used. Dentists used to poke with this instrument and when it used to get stuck in a tooth that’s when the treatment used to begin. However now with the help of a diode laser beam dentists are detecting and deciding the course of action for tooth decay. The only disadvantage of this technique is that it will detect the decay on the chewing surfaces unlike X-rays which detect decay between and inside teeth.

Moving on the next technology we have the CAD/CAM Technology. CAD stands for Computer Aided Design and CAM for Computer Assisted Manufacture. These procedures are really helpful when it comes to treatment such as dental crowns and dental bridges. Earlier when a patient required a crown, the dentist used to make a mold and then used to send this mold to the laboratory. The laboratory used to then create a permanent crown. However with the new technology in place the tooth is drilled. Thereafter it is prepared for crown and a picture of the same is taken. The image is then transferred to the machine and this machine makes dental crown in the clinic itself.

If technology has created a dent in the dental industry then we cannot deny the involvement of new age materials used in dentistry. For example the material used in veneers is really thin yet it gives the strongest support to your teeth. The advantage is that time taken to prepare for veneer is reduced considerably. Moreover your dentist will be scrapping less tooth which means more natural teeth is in place.

With such advancement in technology and use of quality materials, dental care has become easy, quick and much more efficient.

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