“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”! There is some truth to this saying away. Everyone knows that a healthy diet strengthens the immune system and makes you less susceptible to disease. This is especially true for our teeth – after all, they are the first to come into contact with food. Those who eat the wrong food and neglect dental care will sooner or later feel this in their teeth. If you want to bite powerfully and stay healthy, you have to provide your teeth with sufficient nutrients.
sugar + teeth = caries
Almost every human being has to deal with caries at least once in his life. This damage to the teeth is often taken lightly: The dentist treats the carious area, makes a filling, then brushes a little more thoroughly and the problem seems to be solved.
But unfortunately it is not that simple: First of all, caries can cause such great damage that even the loss of a tooth is possible. In addition, tooth decay spreads very quickly and you are more susceptible for life once you have had it. The dentist’s advice on a healthier diet should therefore be taken seriously. The reason for tooth decay in most cases is too much sugar in the diet – this is no secret. Many people are often unaware that they are eating sugar. Just because it’s not a candy, there can still be a lot of sugar in certain foods. For example, in soft drinks of all kinds, sweetened drinks, breakfast cereals, finished products, bakery products, honey, etc.. Anyone who reads the product descriptions will be surprised at how much sugar we consume without being aware of it. That is why we should at least try to do without the obvious sources of sugar. If you have had a snack as an exception, you should brush your teeth thoroughly afterwards. As with all tooth brushing, however, it is recommended to brush your teeth at the earliest 30 minutes after the last intake of food. This includes all drinks, except water. The tooth enamel, which is heavily used by the food, can calm down and solidify during this time, so that it is not injured by brushing.
Give your teeth a break too
In general, the chewing strips should be given a break from time to time so that the oral flora can recover and acids can be broken down. Those who keep to their three to four meals a day and take a break of at least three hours between meals do something good for their metabolism, teeth and health. That sounds natural to many, but in fact only a few stick to it: from biscuits to coffee, from sweets to power drinks in the gym, there are many opportunities to snack in between – sometimes even unconsciously.
Chewing gums are a welcome exception, as long as they are sugar-free. They stimulate the flow of saliva and thus support the regeneration of the oral flora by neutralising the acids formed during the decomposition of food. This is why you should generally drink plenty of water or unsweetened herbal teas and drinks with little acidity: saliva formation is encouraged and the bacteria in the mouth are killed. Sugar-free chewing gum does not break the tooth, but contributes to its health.
Calcium and phosphate for strong teeth
Calcium is enormously important for the entire human organism and is the most abundant mineral of all. The bones and teeth consist mainly of calcium. The mineral provides a strong bone structure and stability. If there is a lack of calcium, the teeth can wobble and become fragile. The enamel is also attacked, which can cause caries to form more quickly. Therefore, calcium-containing foods should be on the daily diet. Milk products of all kinds are particularly recommended. Cheese not only contains a lot of calcium, but as a hard cheese it also stimulates chewing and saliva production. Many fresh, green vegetables such as broccoli, fennel or kale, nuts and fish are also good sources of calcium.
In some cases, dietary calcium intake is insufficient. Especially growing adolescents, elderly people and pregnant women are therefore often prescribed calcium supplements, which, however, only act as dietary supplements. Nevertheless, it is necessary to ensure that there is sufficient calcium in the diet.
Fluoride – friend or foe?
Fluor has come under strong criticism in recent years. Anyone who has received fluoride tablets for healthy teeth and paid attention to fluorine-containing toothpaste is now insecure. Many experts consider fluorine tablets to be counterproductive because they attack not only the caries bacteria but the entire oral flora in too high a concentration. Fluorine can also lead to severe side effects, including shortness of breath, tremors or a heart attack. Fluor tablets can also have a negative effect on the teeth optically: Many adults who were given them as children have developed unattractive white spots on their teeth over time that cannot be treated.
The verdict is milder for fluorine-containing toothpaste: Their effect is considered positive, but only if the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
Healthy all round – avoid stimulants as much as possible
Smoking, too much coffee and sugar are sick to your teeth and not healthy anyway. Therefore, these stimulants should be severely restricted. Instead, a healthy, varied diet should be ensured. Those who cannot or do not want to do without such stimulants should care for their teeth even more thoroughly and pay particular attention to dental hygiene. Because only in the common interaction of good nutrition with much fruit and vegetables and correct care the teeth can remain healthy on a long-term basis.
Tip: If you can’t do without coffee or tea, you should go to a professional tooth cleaner more often. A good supplementary dental insurance also covers these costs at the dentist.