The daily routine of oral hygiene is fundamental to keeping your mouth healthy. But there are other things you can do to preserve enamel, avoid cavities and reduce the risk of gingivitis. Find out how to protect and care for your teeth through diet with a few simple tips.
The benefits of water for teeth
Water is essential for our bodies. Some experts even call it the "elixir of life". Its essential virtue lies in thesupply of minerals and trace elements calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, potassium, as well as various metals and metalloids.
As far as teeth are concerned, water helps to :
- Rinse your mouth naturally after meals to remove most of the food residue.
- Remineralize teeth with minerals and trace elements.
We recommend drinking plenty of water throughout the day. It's good for your teeth and your whole body.
The role of fluoride
Fluorides are fluoride salts found in nature. In direct contact with teeth, fluorides effectively prevent the formation of cavities. In fact, they increase the strength of enamel, enabling it to combat acid attacks.
In Switzerland, the quantities of fluorides present in drinking water and food are low and do not have the protective effects described. The Swiss Society of Dentists therefore recommends the use of dental hygiene products containing fluorides and fluoridated cooking salt.
The fluoride content of your toothpaste should vary according to your age:
- From an infant's first tooth to 2 years of age: teeth are brushed once a day by an adult using water only.
- From age 2: brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste between 250 ppm and 600 ppm when the child can spit.
- From age 3: brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste between 500 ppm and 1000 ppm when the child can spit, for 2 minutes.
- After age 6: brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste of between 1000 and 1500 ppm, for 2 minutes.
Prolonged high fluoride consumption can lead to white spots on the enamel. The same applies to sodium. Consult your dentist in Lausanne or Fribourg for a personalized fluoride assessment. You can also ask for advice on choosing the right toothpaste.
Calcium and vitamins
It's no secret that calcium plays a vital role in the formation of bones and teeth. However, calcium needs certain vitamins to be properly assimilated by the body. These are, above all, vitamin D and vitamin K2.
Unlike vitamin K1, which can be found in leafy green vegetables, K2 is virtually absent from our diet. In fact, it is produced by bacteria during fermentation. The best sources are natto (a Japanese product made from fermented soybeans), cheese, fish oil, miso, liver and yoghurt.
As for vitamin D, most of it is synthesized by the body, in the skin, under the action of the sun's ultraviolet rays. Food provides the remainder, especially animal products and fats: cod liver oil, salmon eggs, herring, sardines...
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If there's one thing you need to eliminate - or at least drastically reduce - from your diet, it's sugar. When we say sugar, we mean both refined sugar and products containing it, such as cakes and sweets. Did you know that bacteria love sugar? The more you give them, the more they consume, producing acids that attack enamel. The result: tooth decay. One of the best ways to care for teeth through diet is therefore to limit sugar consumption.
Beneficial foods for dental care through diet
Here's a list of foods that are good for your teeth:
- Cheeses are an important source of calcium, and are best eaten at the end of a meal. Calcium-rich cheeses include Parmesan, Emmental, Gruyère, Comté, aged Mimolette and dry goat's cheese.
- Green vegetables: rich in vitamins and minerals, they contain no sugar or acid. They're your allies at every meal!
- Fish: provides fluoride to strengthen your teeth.
- Carrots, apples and peppers: eaten raw, they encourage chewing. They help you to remove plaque naturally through a rubbing action. For the same reason, you can eat walnuts, almonds and peanuts without adding salt.