Take care of your teeth

Mouth is our body’s initial point of contact with the nutrients you consume.

CHENNAI : Mouth is our body’s initial point of contact with the nutrients you consume. So what you put in your mouth impacts not only your general health but also that of your teeth and gums. In fact, if your nutrition is poor, the first signs often show up in your mouth. For example, deficiencies of the B vitamins, iron and zinc will be detected first in the mouth. 

The foods you choose and how often you eat can affect your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, too. If you consume too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or non-nutritious snacks, you could be at risk for tooth decay. Diet and nutrition play a vital role in tooth development, bone strength and the prevention and management of diseases of the oral cavity.

Good oral hygiene is important in reducing tooth decay, dental cavities and other ailments. To maintain a balanced diet, eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups and limit the number of snacks you eat. If you do snack, choose cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or a piece of fruit.

DIET AND TOOTH DECAY
The foods and beverages you consume can have a direct influence on the incidence and progression of tooth decay, depending upon:
 The form of food — whether its liquid, solid, sticky or slow to dissolve makes a difference.
 How often you eat sugary foods and beverages and how often you eat or drink acidic foods and beverages.
 The nutritional make-up of the food.
 The combination of the foods you eat and the order in which you eat them.
 Medical conditions you may have, such as gastrointestinal reflux and eating disorders, which can increase the risk of cavities and weakened teeth.

tips for healthy teeth
Limit having snacks at bedtime. As there will not be much saliva production while sleeping, these foods will stick all over the teeth. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.
 Reduce or restrict the consumption of aerated drinks as these foods promote tooth erosion and increase the risk of tooth cavities.
 Include more dairy products in food like milk, curd, cheese, yoghurt which enhances the calcium content and helps in remineralisation and strengthening of teeth.
 Improve the fluid intake with and between all the meals and snacks.
 Phosphorus-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs help to strengthen your teeth and contain valuable protein.
 Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any balanced diet, and they are also good for your teeth. Since they are high in water and fibre, they help balance the sugars they contain and help to clean your teeth. Chewing also helps to stimulate saliva production.
 Nuts contain protein and minerals important for overall health and stimulates saliva production, which can reduce your risk for tooth decay.
 Foods high in sugar are particularly common cause of tooth decay. You do not need to avoid them altogether, but making them a treat rather than a staple will help protect your teeth for years to come. Consider adding some foods low in sugar to your regular meal plan to increase both your family’s general health and that of their teeth.

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The New Indian Express
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