Would you like to learn more about how to strengthen teeth?
Most people yearn for a beautiful smile, with straight and whiter teeth. However, you can never have any of these without strong teeth. Strong teeth require healthier enamel. The problem is lifestyle and diet choices keep most people from getting healthy and strong teeth. Thus, if you want a beautiful smile, you need to know how to strengthen your teeth first.
The idea is simple, to strengthen teeth, you have to strengthen enamel. But that is easier said than done due to lots of factors like tooth decay.
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth mix feed on trapped food debris and mixes with saliva to make plaque. Plaque sticks to the surface of the teeth and attacks the enamel, causing serious damage that eventually leads to tooth decay. Research shows that almost 24% or 1 in 4 adults in America have untreated tooth decay, and nearly half (46%) of the American population ages 30 years and above suffer from gum disease.
How to strengthen teeth? Simple, rebuild tooth enamel.
You can start by keeping them clean. That means brushing twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride in small doses will keep your teeth strong and make them resilient from bacteria-causing decay. Also, you need to remove trapped food debris in the tight spaces between your teeth by flossing.
Try Oil pulling
Oil pulling is the use of high-quality edible oils (such as coconut oil) to clean and rinse the mouth (swishing for 20 minutes). This process helps clean the mouth thoroughly, remove plaque build-up, and prevent tooth decay. Swishing also removes the damaging acid bacteria produce in the mouth, making you feel clean and fresh.
Bacteria feed on food debris trapped between the tiny spaces of your teeth, and they thrive in sugary and acidic foods. They produce plaque (sticky film) that produces acidic material which corrodes and damages the outer protective layer of tooth enamel.
Eating starchy foods combined with soda and fruit juice is bad for your teeth on many levels. Snacking on sugar and carb-rich food provides bacteria consistent food supply inside your mouth. Well-fed bacteria make more acid that damages teeth.
If you really need to snack, make sure you choose carb-free food and rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating. This will help dilute the sugar and help your mouth produce saliva to buffer damage-causing acids.
If you love to eat acidic fruits, make sure you consume them in moderation. Fruit acids like those in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit are the usual culprit of calcium chelation on the tooth enamel. These acids bind with calcium and wash them off of your teeth.
Eat food rich in minerals
Like bones, teeth are porous in nature. Meaning they absorb or lose beneficial minerals all the time. Thus, the best way to keep tooth enamel strong is to help it absorb more key vitamins and minerals than they lose. This is called re-mineralization.
While brushing and flossing help keep your teeth clean, they don’t help in remineralization. To promote tooth remineralization, you will need to eat food rich in minerals, such as:
• Bone broth (preferably organic and homemade)
• Dark leafy vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach)
• Grass-fed poultry and meat
• Himalayan salt
Get rid of refined sugar in your diet
Sweet and sugary food is the main source of sustenance for bacteria to produce harmful acidic material on your teeth. Getting rid of sugar from your daily diet will not only reduce the bacteria food supply chain in your mouth, it will also help reduce your risk of health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
Reduce grains from your diet
Whole grains like nuts and seeds are generally healthy, they contain a substance called phytic acid. This substance is both good and bad because while it can serve as an antioxidant and may help protect against insulin resistance, it can also disrupt the body’s absorption of beneficial nutrients, such as calcium, iron, and zinc.
Clean your tongue thoroughly
People assume they have cleaned their mouth thoroughly by brushing and flossing. However, skip brushing your tongue. Cleaning your tongue is the key to getting most of the bad bacteria in your mouth, as well as the dead cells and food debris that have accumulated there. You will notice your breath feels fresher and your mouth feels cleaner overall when you brush your mouth thoroughly.
Eat food rich in high fat-soluble vitamins
High fat-soluble vitamins aid the body in absorbing calcium from the small intestines and help in forming and maintaining strong bones. Vitamin D for example, regulates the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus, as well as facilitates the immune system, and improves resistance to certain diseases. Vitamin K2 on the other hand ensures calcium goes straight into the bones and teeth, as well as promotes skin health, proper brain function, etc.
If you are going to supplement with high fat-soluble vitamins, however, make sure you don’t go beyond the recommended dosage, as it can cause toxicity.
Dry mouth is one of the biggest contributory factors to tooth decay, as it helps plaque-causing bacteria to thrive. The easiest way to counter this is to drink lots of water and keep your body hydrated.
Water doesn’t only help flush away food debris in your mouth, it can also rinse out bacteria from the teeth and gums, dilute harmful acids from bacteria, and aid your mouth in producing saliva.
Improve your body’s digestion and absorption
You may be surprised to hear this, but gut health plays a big role and has a huge impact on your oral health. This is because bacteria travel between your mouth and your stomach. Excessive cavities can be a sign of an unhealthy gut. This means it works both ways.
Another important aspect of proper nutrition is nutrient absorption. Science says more than 70% of your immune system is located in your gut. That means a strong immune system starts with a healthy gut and good oral health. You may be eating the right food, but without the help of essential certain vitamins and minerals, you are not properly absorbing essential nutrients for your body.
Thus, to aid your gut health, make sure you avoid acidic foods and eat probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, pickles, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut. You can even take probiotic supplements. And to aid your nutrient absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K, make sure you are eating healthy fats, such as avocadoes, cheese, fatty fish, etc., and add extra virgin olive oil to your diet.
Moreover, certain medications, stress, alcohol, the presence of parasites in the gut, processed food, and even amalgam fillings can all negatively affect your absorption.
Treat stomach problems
Incidentally, gut issues such as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and severe heartburn can bring acidic substances from your stomach up to your mouth. This backwash of stomach acid doesn’t only irritate the esophagus lining, but can also damage the tooth enamel. And damaged tooth enamel is weakened tooth enamel, making it highly susceptible to tooth decay that can lead to tooth loss. So make sure you see your doctor and treat gastrointestinal conditions.
Sugar-free chewing gums
Not only will chewing on mint gums give you fresh breath, but it also helps promote saliva production in your mouth. Saliva lubricates and moistens the mouth, allowing you to chew and swallow food better, and neutralize harmful acids in your mouth. It also helps keep teeth healthy by washing away bacteria to prevent, tooth decay, and gum disease. Make sure it’s a sugar-free gum though, to avoid plaque buildup on your teeth.
Avoid jaw clenching and teeth grinding
While it is normal to clench your jaw or grind your teeth once in a while, especially when you are feeling stressed or anxious, excessive jaw clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism) can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw in the long run.
Bruxism is a sleep disorder characterized by jaw clenching and teeth grinding during sleep. This doesn’t only cause damage to healthy teeth from unnecessary wear and tear, it can also wear down the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) and stress on the ligaments and muscles around the area. This can lead to pain and discomfort when speaking, and chewing food, morning headaches, earaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, etc.
If you suspect you are suffering from bruxism, or if you constantly feel jaw pain and headaches every time you wake up in the morning, then you should definitely see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can diagnose your condition and provide treatment and modifications in your lifestyle to minimize, or even avoid jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
Visit your dentist regularly
Prevention is better than cure. Thus, the best way to deal with tooth decay and keep your teeth strong and healthy is to have them checked and professionally cleaned regularly. Regular checkups mean visiting your dentist every 6 months. Dentists can spot potential problems before they become serious problems.
Moreover, your dentist can also give you tips on how to strengthen your teeth based on your lifestyle and preferences. They can also provide preventive maintenance for your teeth to keep them healthy and strong.
Your oral health, and how your teeth and gums look, are a reflection of your overall health. While a good oral hygiene routine of brushing daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing is a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy, it is not enough. Complete oral health involves proper nutrition and a healthy diet. Follow these tips to strengthen your teeth for that beautiful smile.