Your Guide To Healthy, Great-Looking Teeth
Seen as we’re constantly bombarded with pictures of celebrities with perfectly straight, perfectly white teeth, it’s pretty natural to be a little worried about your oral health. Our smiles are a big factor in our overall appearance, and our oral health can cause all kinds of problems in later life if we neglect it too much. While most of us can’t afford the full Hollywood treatment to get perfect smiles, there are certainly things we can do to maintain our oral health throughout our lives. Here’s a guide to keeping your mouth as healthy as possible in the long-term.
Change in Diet
That old phrase “you are what you eat” applies massively when it comes to our oral health. Your diet can often affect the condition of your teeth and gums far more than brushing or flossing ever could. Your teeth are in a constant state of remineralization. Your saliva provides your teeth with natural minerals, and the cells making up your teeth use those minerals to strengthen themselves. This means that with the right dietary choices, you can have fairly healthy teeth without ever having to brush or floss. Note that I say fairly; I’m not telling you to throw your toothbrush away! There are various trends in a person’s diet which can dramatically reduce the chance of tooth decay and cavities. A high level of fat-soluble vitamins in the diet, low levels of phytic acid, and a healthy concentration of minerals can all do a lot to maintain a healthy mouth. To make sure you’re staving off tooth decay and cavities as much as you can, try to review your diet and make a few healthy changes. Try to cut down on foods that have high concentrations of phytic acid, such as grains and beans. You should also make a point to avoid foods with natural sugars or starches. Fruit can be a great source of vitamins, but it can also be extremely damaging to our teeth, particularly citrus. Try to limit the amount of fruit you’re eating, and compensate for those minerals and vitamins through vegetables and meats. You can up the amount of vitamins in your diet by making a point to eat more healthy fats, such as coconut oil and pastured butter. Bone broth can be a great source of fat-soluble minerals too, so consider trying this if you haven’t already.
To make sure your body is remineralizing cavities properly, you may have to up the minerals in your body using supplements here and there. Some people manage to have great oral health through their diet alone, but there are a lot of foods which can be depleted of nutrients due to the soil they’re grown in. Due to this, it’s a good idea to consider supplements to fill in any gaps. One of the most popular supplements for combatting tooth decay is fermented cod liver oil, usually mixed with butter. Talk to any good dentist, and this will come at the top of their list of supplements for better oral health. Cod liver oil contains an optimal combination of vitamins A, D and K, which are great for keeping dental problems at bay. Vitamin D in itself is great for oral health, along with various other things. Even if you don’t optimize every little facet of your diet, increasing your Vitamin D intake can really help with cavity healing. Get a regular dose of fermented cod liver oil, and spend a little time in the sun every day, and generally you won’t have to worry about getting any more vitamin D in your diet. Coconut oil has also been found to have massive benefits for oral health. Try taking a quarter to a half cup a day in a smoothie, or melted in a tea. For something really tasty, blend it into your coffee and emulsify it slightly with a nice dash of vanilla.
Balancing Out Hormones
You may not be aware of it, but your hormones can have a huge impact on your health, as they control the balance of acids and alkalis in the mouth, and are instrumental in helping the body repair itself and fight disease. Countless people have symptoms of hormone imbalance, so it’s important to make sure you’re optimizing sleep, minimizing stress, and getting a healthy amount of exercise. There are also various foods which can be great for naturally balancing out your hormones. Salmon is one of them, being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are a core component in hormone and cholesterol synthesis. Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats, a lot like coconut and olive oil. Broccoli, along with other dark, leafy greens like brussels sprouts and spinach, contain vitamins and minerals which help your liver to metabolize hormones at a healthier rate. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are many more foods and supplements which can be exceptionally handy in balancing out your hormones. When you’re looking for other solutions, just make sure you’re using your age and gender as criteria.
A lot of popular toothpastes, mouthwashes and other oral health products on the shelves contain artificial ingredients and chemicals which can often do more harm than good! Yes, I’m afraid that sometimes we can’t even trust the products designed to keep our teeth strong and clean. If you’ve ever taken the time to read a tube of toothpaste, you’ll find that there are all kinds of warnings and cautions informing you that too much of it can be toxic if swallowed by a child. Probably not something that you want to leave lying out if you’ve got any toddlers running around! Switching over to a healthier toothpaste is one little change that can make all the difference when it comes to your oral health. It’s certainly a lot easier than overhauling your diet, exercising, or making the lifestyle changes needed to balance out your hormones! Start shopping around for a new, remineralizing toothpaste and other oral products. You can even make your own toothpaste if you want to save a little money! You can find a simple recipe for this at http://wellnessmama.com/ . There are many more natural oral health products out there, so shop around. While they may be more expensive, the health benefits will work out well worth the investment.
Some Other Things
I thought I’d round this guide off with a few more general tips for maintaining and improving your dental health. Though you may have heard some of these before, there’s no harm in reiterating!
First of all, get into contact with a reputable dentist and make sure you’re going in for a check-up every six months. They’ll be able to help you keep any bad habits in check, perform x-rays to see any underlying problems, and pick out the early warning signs of oral cancer, gum disease and other serious conditions. They’ll also be able to inform you on the best way to use certain oral health products, and let you know if there’s anything in particular you should be avoiding. Aside from a local dental practice you can visit, it also pays to have a resource for finding emergency dental care, like http://24hourdental.org/ .
If you’ve been avoiding dental check-ups for some time, one of the things they might warn you against is over-brushing. You’re probably aware that you should be brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time. Just remember that it’s certainly possible to over-do your dental care. If you brush several times a day, or for more than four minutes in total, you could easily wind up wearing down the layer of enamel which protects your teeth’s dentin. Dentin is full of microscopic holes that lead right to nerve endings, and if you damage yours you could end up causing you a lot of pain.
Flossing every day is always a good habit to get into. Regular flossing will loosen up the little food particles that you may miss while brushing. It will also scrape away plaque, and prevent tartar build-up. If you let tartar get out of control, you’ll need a dentist to remove it and that certainly doesn’t come cheap!
Finally, try to cut down on soda, or even better, totally eliminate it from your diet. There are a lot of things which can be bad for our teeth, but fizzy, sugary drinks really stand out in terms of damage. Even diet soda or sweet drinks with no sugar often contain acids which can cause serious oral problems. Once the acids in these drinks get through your enamel, they’ll start to cause cavities, stain the surface of the tooth, and possibly even erode the inner structure of the tooth.
I hope you learned something in reading this guide, and that it’s helped you on towards a much healthier set of teeth and gums. After a few changes in your diet and getting yourself onto some better cleaning habits, you’ll have very little to worry about in later life.