Diet has a great influence on oral health. It helps prevent cavities, gingivitis and dental erosion. Here are some dietary rules to adopt.
Don’t we say that we are enjoying life to the fullest? The image is far from being abusive. In fact, in the presence of this beautiful enthusiasm which leads to smile, laugh, talk or rage, here are our teeth which are displayed insolently. Eminently aesthetic reasons therefore push us to take good care of them on a daily basis. Regular brushing (twice a day, morning and evening, for 2 minutes), the use of dental floss to chase away unwanted guests (preferably the evening before brushing) and mouthwashes should never be neglected. However, even pampered and protected by a layer of enamel and dentin, teeth are no less fragile. Thus, a certain type of diet inevitably generates dental caries and sometimes even a deterioration in the quality of the teeth. Too bad when we know that a balanced diet rich in certain nutrients is both a source of pleasure and a weight ally for healthy teeth.
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It is commonly accepted that it is preferable to avoid consuming too many sugary foods, the role of which is recognized in the etiology of oral pathologies. “Fermentable sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, etc.) have the major drawback of being absorbed by the bacteria present in the mouth which will then synthesize acids responsible for the demineralization of the enamel and, therefore, promote the formation of cavities, explains Dr Christophe Lequart, dental surgeon and spokesperson for the French Union for Oral Health (UFSBD). A phenomenon which is further accentuated if the food intake of sugar increases throughout the day, the saliva then not having time to play its role of buffering acidity. “
Enemies to avoid
You should also be extra careful with naturally acidic foods. Starting with citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, grapefruits, etc.), but also apples, tomatoes, pickles, white wines or even vinegars. Very corrosive, these acidic foods cause demineralization and premature erosion of the teeth. “By their nature, both acidic and sweet, sodas are even worse, because they contain gases that potentiate the harmful effects of acidity, points out Dr. Lequart. The acidity demineralizes the enamel, and the bacteria use the sugars to produce acidity which will increase the demineralization of the enamel. “
But it is also advisable, for good oral health, to avoid the temptation of too soft food. Living organs, teeth find their raison d’être in the very effort of chewing, which allows the proper development of muscle and bone masses. This is why it is recommended to switch to a solid diet in children. Likewise, apart from certain particular periods of life (postoperative effects, swallowing problems linked to age, etc.), a diet that is soft, sticky and leaves food residues on the surfaces of the teeth which promote the risk of caries. not recommended for adults. All the more so as poor oral health can have unexpected consequences, but now recognized, on the proper functioning of certain organs and on health in general. Thus, periodontal diseases are also the main route for allowing numerous pathogenic bacteria to enter the blood which will then migrate to the heart, lungs, kidneys … They can then cause serious inflammatory problems away from the oral cavity: cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancers.
Fluoride against cavities
If a diversified diet, sufficiently rich in proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and minerals, is the first guarantee of good dental health, certain foods, more than others still, are particularly beneficial. “Fluoride combines with the crystals that form tooth enamel and thus makes this enamel less sensitive to acid attacks generated by food intake,” says Dr. Lequart. Foods rich in fluoride include fish, vegetables and even more so beans, water, nuts and green tea. Special mention for the dark chocolate which contains not only fluorine, but also tannins and phosphates which neutralize acidity, and Vichy Saint-Yorre water, which is highly fluorinated. The intake of fluoride through food, remaining fairly limited, it is essential to use a fluoride toothpaste.
Calcium in support
Foods rich in calcium are mainly dairy products: yogurt and cheese. They provide calcium and minerals which will remineralize the damaged enamel. They are also full of casein, a protein that forms an antibacterial film around the teeth. Associated with calcium, phosphorus ensures good bone mineral density and thus helps strengthen the strength of bones and teeth. It is mainly found in red meat, nuts, seeds and eggs.
Antioxidants for the gums
Antioxidants promote cell renewal in gum tissue and play a small role in preventing gum disease. Celery, cucumbers, tomatoes… Fresh fruits and vegetables are the greatest sources of antioxidants. Eating them well crunchy also offers an added benefit: the increased chewing of these foods rich in fiber stimulates the production of saliva, which regulates oral acidity and remineralizes the enamel.
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Vitamin C found in abundance in oranges, kale, broccoli or red berries is involved in the synthesis of collagen inside dentin, and influences growth, repair and maintenance teeth. Vitamin A, on the other hand, is key to healthy gums and enamel. Most orange-colored foods, such as pumpkins, sweet potatoes or carrots, have a good vitamin A content. Finally, while vitamin D is necessary for bone health, it is also necessary for teeth. In the elderly, it makes it possible to better fight against periodontitis, an inflammatory and infectious disease which causes frequent loosening and, in the extreme, loss of teeth. Found in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, etc.) and cod liver oil, it is also synthesized in the skin under the action of sunlight.