Dental "Superfoods" Underline the Importance of Oral Health
As the great Soupy Sales once said, ‘Be true to your teeth, and they will never be false to you.’ In the past, we assumed everyone over a certain age was a little old lady with a crooked tooth, and crooked walk, and her teeth in a glass. And it was always a ‘her’ because all the men were dead by then. These days, both men and women are living longer, and not just in Japan. Moreover, a lot of them have teeth that look surprisingly natural. They’re primarily dental implants – a titanium base fused to the jaw and topped with a porcelain crown.
Implants can be brushed and flossed just like ordinary teeth, and are rarely allergic. However, they take several months and multiple dentist visits to install. Also, they’re not cheap. So rather than carving out a part of your retirement fund for titanium teeth, start looking after your teeth now. It’s not that hard. See your dentist twice a year, then brush and floss twice a day. The night-time brush is the most important – it gets rids of the bits of food that would serve as midnight snacks for your oral bugs.
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No sugar, no spice, just lots of ‘bite’
And – according to Redbook magazine – eat more vegetables. Not just any vegetable though. Redbook zones into three particular ‘superfoods’ – red bell pepper, celery, and cheddar cheese. Okay, that last one isn’t a vegetable, but still. Each of these foods has their special benefit for your teeth:
- Red bell peppers have high levels of Vitamin C, which is good for gums.
- Celery is crunchy, so it scrapes bits of food off your teeth and exercises your jaw.
- Cheddar cheese has casein, calcium, and phosphorous for stronger enamel.
We assume that before someone invented toothbrushes, our ancestors cleaned his or her teeth by gnawing carrots, sugarcane, apples, jicama and other foods with bite. Some indigenous communities also ‘chewed’ natural toothbrushes. These were twigs cut off from well-known fibrous trees and shrubs. Still, for the modern (wo)man, naturally crunchy foods are a better fit. They can also be handy dieting tools because they give the crispy satisfaction of crisps and cookies but are healthier, have more fibre, and contain fewer calories. Also, no artificial sugars or unhealthy fats.
Natural dental care
‘Eating your teeth clean’ is obviously inadequate for humans. Our cats and dogs nibble on kibble to keep their teeth strong, but even they need a good brushing two or three times a week. As for those of us on two legs, our brushing and flossing need to be supplemented with the right kinds of food – low in sugar and high in ‘bite’.
Dr Steven Lin points out chewy food can prevent ‘unnecessary’ dental bills from braces, aligners, and even wisdom tooth extraction. He says these foods help the jaw grow larger, which eliminates the type of spacing problems that lead to the above dental solutions. After all, your gums will now be wide enough to fit all your teeth. The trick is to start this diet at a young age, while your jaw is still developing, and stay consistent.
For further improvements in your oral health, call Dental Avenue Maroubra on 02 9344 8822.