Almost everyone has had cavities, but very few know that they can be prevented by better nutrition, not just brushing and flossing adequately.
Eating a diet high in sugar or refined carbohydrates (white flour instead of whole grain, white sugar instead of alternatives like xylitol) results in the sticky particles clinging to teeth and becoming a bacterial film called plaque. This produces acid that eats away at the enamel of teeth and hardens into tartar, resulting in the peeling away of the gums supporting teeth until they fall out or need to be extracted. Eating a diet high in vegetables and whole foods with less sugar, coupled with brushing for two minutes after breakfast and dinner and flossing at night, can help prevent both cavities and periodontal disease. Carbonated sodas also eat away the enamel.
Fortunately, vitamin and mineral supplementation can help teeth stay healthy. Most important is to take 1,500 mg. of calcium and 750 mg. of magnesium a day, an amount and ratio that play a vital role in making sure all bones (including teeth) are kept strong. Most Americans also do not get enough of the mineral potassium, which is an important part of bones and found in large amounts in leafy vegetables, beans, seeds, and salmon. A supplement of 3,500 mg. a day is recommended. Phosphorous is also an important mineral for teeth and bones, but most people get enough in their diet.
Collagen is a protein that help hold all bones together. Powder or capsules can be taken, but even more effective is taking 5 mg. of the mineral silicon twice a day, because this prompts the body to internally form its own collagen, according to clinical studies.
Vitamin D is the most important vitamin for teeth health, which can be produced by the effect of the sun on skin. However, the lack of daily exposure by many and the difficulty for this happening for those with darker skin, result in the need for supplementation. Most physicians recommend 5,000 I.U.s a day. Vitamin C can help prevent cavities and periodontal infections, but it is water soluble (it only stays in the blood for about five hours), so about 1,000 mg. should to be taken twice a day to maintain oral health.
A multi-vitamin-mineral taken twice a day can be helpful, since all nutrients work together to keep us healthy, but the B vitamins that are a primary reason to take a multiple are also water soluble.
For further advice on how to improve your oral health, make an appointment with Dr. Marine today for a full dental examination.