kids flexing muscles and his strong healthy teeth and enamelIn this blog post, you will find tips on how to strengthen your kids’ teeth…and yours, too!

Kids’ primary (baby) teeth play very significant roles.  They help to maintain the spacing for permanent teeth and allow your child to eat and speak properly. Baby teeth are also responsible for the development of facial features and are important to have for proper food breakdown and digestion.

Permanent teeth are just as important, as they each play a specific role in biting and chewing foods. When a permanent tooth is lost or falls out, your remaining teeth are left to work overtime to make up the difference. 

Some of the consequences of losing permanent teeth are severe shifting and bite change, as well as bone loss in the jaw.

With the important roles of both primary and permanent teeth, you should be doing everything that you can to ensure that those pearly whites stay as strong and as healthy as possible. Of course, this includes brushing and flossing, but are there other ways to strengthen tooth enamel? Yes, there certainly are. We want you to understand the methods of how to strengthen teeth and what is the best food (for teeth.)

How To Strengthen Your Teeth

Just like there are certain nutrients that are good for your digestive system, circulatory system, and immune system, there are specific nutrients that are beneficial to your teeth and gums.

For example, calcium and phosphorus are a great way to keep teeth strong.  Carbohydrates are not just food for you, they feed bacteria too. Bacteria produce acid once they consume carbohydrates.  This acid attacks and breaks down the enamel on the surface of your tooth. Twenty minutes after eating your saliva begins to lessen the effects of acid on teeth.  It contains traces of calcium and phosphorus which replace the minerals which have been lost due to the acid attack.  

In addition, Vitamin C is important for healthy gums.  Vitamin D that we get from the sun helps your body absorb calcium even better. 

Food for Healthy Teeth

A lot of these nutrients can be found in the foods good for teeth (and the rest of your body!)  For example, yogurt, certain cheeses, low-fat milk, and almonds are packed with calcium. To get the phosphorus needed, try including pumpkin seeds, fish, Brazilian nuts, red meat, and eggs into your and your child’s diet. 

Foods That Help to Prevent Tooth Decay

On top of getting the right nutrients in your food, there are some other foods that are good for teeth.  For instance, crunchy veggies like celery and carrots are great for scrubbing and cleaning your teeth, especially at the gumline where a lot of people neglect to brush properly. 

In addition, these foods (along with fibrous kale and spinach) require a lot of chewing, which increases saliva production. When your mouth is moist, the saliva can do a better job of flushing away food particles that were left behind, meaning you’re at a lower chance of developing tooth decay. 

Believe it or not, chewing gum can help fight cavities.  No, we’re not talking about the pink, sugary gum that can make bubbles the size of your head.  We’re talking about fresh tasting, chewing gum that contains xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener that has been proven to fight cavities by inhibiting the growth of the bacteria that causes cavities.  So, if you or your child want to chew gum that’s okay; just make sure to look for xylitol on the label. 

How to Strengthen Enamel

As you age, you may begin to lose important nutrients and minerals in your teeth, which causes your enamel to erode. This process is called demineralization. Once tooth enamel is gone, it can’t grow back. There are certain ways that you can strengthen the enamel that you do have. 

Brushing Your Teeth

It’s not enough to just brush your teeth; you have to make sure that you do it right. Brush your teeth at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Position the brush at a 45-degree angle pointed towards your gums. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, ensuring that you’re cleaning all surfaces of every tooth.  Don’t be distracted – think about what you’re doing. Brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth will remove lingering bacteria that can weaken your teeth or contribute to bad breath. 

Using Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is capable of preventing demineralization and decay of teeth. To strengthen your teeth, brush with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Fluoride is also available in different forms. It can be found in your drinking water, mouthwash, or available as a quick and easy treatment from your dentist. 

Addressing Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Saliva is a great natural way to keep your mouth flushed and clean of bad bacteria and plaque.  If you have a dry mouth, then you’re more susceptible to demineralization and tooth decay. Unfortunately, a lack of saliva production is something that commonly occurs with age.  

Xerostomia can also be brought on by taking certain medications on a regular basis. To address dry mouth issues, speak with your primary health physician about possibly getting you off of, or changing your medicines.  

Our Ottawa dentist can also help by keeping a close eye on your teeth.  In addition to regular exams, there are products available over-the-counter (and prescription-strength via your dentist) that help with dry mouth symptoms.  You can use a moistening spray, sugar-free lozenges and candies, a dry mouth rinse, or special toothpaste. 

Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums

If you have healthy teeth and gums, it’s important to keep them that way.  The professionals at Parkdale Dental Centre can help. Visiting our dental practice on a regular basis will allow us to clean your teeth and examine their condition. Along the way, if we spot something that needs our attention, we can address the issue before it gets out of control. 

If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the Dentist, then feel free to give us a call to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!