Once we get older and become more concerned about tooth decay, many people wonder just what they can do to strengthen their teeth. It’s commonly known that enamel is the coating on our teeth that protects them from damage and decay, but many people don’t really understand what it takes to strengthen the enamel. It is possible through a number of ways from altering habits and making lifestyle changes to eating foods that naturally work to reinforce the enamel and fortify the overall strength of the tooth.
Maintaining Strong Teeth Begins with Proper Care
The number one thing you can do to ensure your teeth remain strong and free of damage is to take proper care of them. Even though you probably grew up with adults lecturing you on proper care, those lessons may have been forgotten through the years. By brushing up on those recommendations for proper dental care, you can ensure your teeth will remain strong for years to come.
In addition to brushing after meals, you should also be brushing your teeth upon waking up and just before going to bed. This prevents plaque build-up that can damage or erode tooth enamel. When selecting a toothpaste, you may want to look for one that strengthens enamel. As you do brush, remember not to brush too hard, because this can cause the enamel to erode as well. Instead, use a soft-bristled brush and apply to your teeth at a 45 degree angle, moving gently back and forth across each tooth.
You should be flossing at least once daily. While most people don’t regularly floss, this is an important way to protect your teeth. By flossing in between your teeth, you clean deeper down to the gums and ensure debris is removed more thoroughly.
You can use water or your favorite brand of mouthwash. If you opt for mouthwash, look for a type that has antibacterial properties. By rinsing after meals, you can flush food particles and sugars out of your mouth, before they have a chance to cause decay.
Lifestyle Changes Can Strengthen Your Teeth
In addition to properly caring for your teeth, there are probably many lifestyle changes you can enact to help keep your teeth strong and healthy. Of course, the most obvious change is to eliminate sugar from your diet, or reduce it to a minimum. There is bacteria in your mouth that thrives on the sugar found in foods and beverages. As the bacteria feeds on the sugar, it releases acids that work at eroding the enamel of your teeth.
Additionally, sodas pose a double threat to tooth strength. While the sugar content is very high and works to soften teeth, soft drinks also contain acids to preserve the flavor and carbonation. Once we drink soda pop, those acids wash over our teeth, eroding enamel and making it more likely that we’ll develop cavities.
Another way people weaken their teeth is by using them as tools. Your teeth should only be used to chew food. If you bite your nails or use your teeth to help open packages, your weakening their strength. As this becomes a habit, you’re more likely to cause serious damage to one or more of your teeth. You should only be using your teeth for eating, as they’re intended.
Swimmers should be wary of spending too much time in chlorinated pools, as well. The chlorine in swimming pools can cause tooth enamel to erode. If you spend a significant amount of time in chlorinated swimming pools, that process will be expedited and you may develop tooth decay, even if you already properly care for your teeth. Check with the swimming pool’s caretakers to make sure chlorine levels are regularly tested. If the levels become too acidic, you’ll be at an increased risk for tooth decay.
Foods That Can Boost Tooth Strength Naturally
There are a number of foods that can help you maintain strong teeth. Most commonly known are foods high in calcium and phosphorous content. The calcium and phosphorous can actually restore tooth enamel. For calcium, eat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Seafood, almonds, and tofu are also rich with calcium. To add more phosphorous to your diet, try eating more Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds. Other foods with a high content of phosphorous include red meat, eggs, and tofu.
Another way to strengthen teeth is to clean them naturally with crunchy foods, especially those containing high levels of water. Apples, celery, carrots, and cucumbers are best for this, because, as you chew, their abrasive texture will help to clean your teeth. The water in these foods also help by rinsing the mouth and neutralizing the bacteria that’s always present in your mouth.
Vitamins C and D are also vital to maintaining healthy teeth. The vitamin D helps the body to better absorb calcium, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough of both nutrients. Meanwhile, vitamin C lowers inflammation in the mouth and promotes stronger blood vessel functioning. This helps to keep the gums healthy, which is also vital to tooth strength and health. Weakened gums open the roots up to infection and can allow for deeper decay.
For adding more vitamin D to your diet, cod liver oil, egg yolk, and fish are excellent sources. Getting more sunlight can also benefit you as your skin absorbs vitamin D directly from the sun, but remember to limit your exposure and wear sunscreen.
For vitamin C, try adding more fruits to your diet, particularly kiwi, oranges, and strawberries. Bell peppers, broccoli, and kale are other excellent sources of vitamin C.
King of Prussia Periodontics & Dental Implants offers oral hygiene therapy in King of Prussia, PA. It is overseen by Dr. Marissa Crandall Cruz, Dr. Mana Nejadi, and Dr. Rimple Sandhu. Together, they are experienced in providing a wide range of dental care procedures from periodontal therapy to treating gum disease. The professionals at King of Prussia Periodontics & Dental Implants utilize the latest technological advances and most innovative dental treatments to help every patient maintain a strong and healthy smile. To learn more about them and the services they offer, you can visit their website at https://www.kopperio.com.