Family and Cosmetic Dentist - Livonia
31574 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
Here are a few of some of the more common foods and vitamins you should pay special attention to:
Because your teeth and jaws are made mostly of calcium, it's important to get enough of this mineral in your daily diet. Even if you don't like milk, remember that cheese, yogurt, almonds, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, beans and tofu are also great sources of calcium. Have a look in your grocery store's juice aisle for calcium-enriched juices too, and remember to include vitamin D in your diet: it helps to absorb any calcium you consume.
Iron, found in red meat, liver, egg yolks and bran cereal, to name a few sources, is important in preventing sores from forming in your mouth, and your tongue from becoming inflamed.
A lack of vitamin B3 (found in chicken and fish) can cause bad breath and canker sores, while mouth sores can also develop in those who don't consume enough vitamin B12 and B2.
We think of vitamin C to fight a cold, but did you know that a lack of this important vitamin can lead to bleeding gums and loose teeth? Oranges, raw red peppers and sweet potatoes are delicious sources of vitamin C.
We know that smoking, and consuming an abundance of certain berries, coffee, tea, red wine and other staining foods and drinks can affect the color of our teeth, but there are a number of other common things we consume on a daily basis that can also adversely affect our teeth.
For example, apple juice sounds healthier than soda pop, but did you know it can have more sugar than soda? All acidic drinks - including regular and diet soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices - can pose another threat to teeth: "dental erosion," the loss of the protective enamel on your teeth. By sipping on acidic drinks over a long period of time, you are continually bathing the teeth in acid. Try to finish drinking these beverages within a few minutes instead of sipping them throughout a longer period, and if possible, rinse your mouth out with plain water after finishing your drink to help to wash away any remaining sugar and acid.
Remember, too, that teeth are not tools, and should therefore not be used to open bottles, tear away packaging or gnaw on pens. Avoid chewing on ice too: you can crack your teeth!
Carbohydrates: Did you know that carbohydrates can be just as bad for teeth as candy? The reason for this is that bacteria feed on leftover foods in the mouth and produce acid, which causes decay.
Hidden Sugars: Watch out for sugars in unlikely places, like cough syrup, and sugars that appear naturally in many foods - even milk! We recommend that parents don't put their babies to sleep with a bottle of milk, because as milk pools in a child's mouth, the sugars mix with bacteria in the mouth to make a mild acid, which can then attack the tooth enamel to produce cavities.
Finally, you may think that all gum and candy is frowned upon by dentists, but sometimes candy can be dandy, especially in the form of sugarless gum. In fact, because gum stimulates the creation of saliva in the mouth, many dentists recommend chewing on a piece of sugarless gum after a meal if you can't brush right away.
Talk to us about the important connection between what you put in your mouth, and your good dental and overall health.